Are Better Trained Bloggers Better For PR?

Last Updated Jun 16, 2008 6:08 PM EDT

Blogs are the Wild West of new media opportunities for doing PR. Unlike old media, run by journalists with decades of experience and set ways of doing things, blogs are in their infancy, and even the ones run or written by former old media journalists are more or less unburdened from following the ethics and best practices of traditional journalism.

Here's what I want to know: is this good or bad for PR? Would better-trained bloggers be good for generating publicity or buzz, or bad for it?

I'm prompted to ask these questions after reading an AP story about a new Society of Professional Journalists program that provides journalism training to bloggers. If you're interested in attending, btw, there's one next week in LA next week -- more info here. You can read more about this program below.

On one hand, PR people are trained or at least somewhat experienced in working with the traditional media and working within their ethical guidelines. On the other hand, there have been numerous examples already of companies making creative use of bloggers, such as the cosmetics industry's liberal policy on handing out free samples to friendly bloggers.

So -- which would you rather work with? Take our poll and leave a comment about how you voted and why!

[poll id=3]

The subjects SPJ will cover in this training include:

  • Journalism ethics. The new-media landscape is rife with dilemmas for anyone wanting to report accurately, fairly and outside the bounds of special interests.
  • The basics of media law. The same longstanding laws concerning libel, slander and access to people and information apply to 21st-century news-gatherers.
  • Access to public records and meetings. Public information can add substance and value to every news story. But knowing where to look for it can be tough.
  • Standard and responsible reporting practices. With media ethics and law in mind, how else should news-gatherers approach sources? Get tips on smart interviewing techniques, and learn more about writing and reporting that will help you connect more effectively with your audience.
  • The use of technology. We'll show you an array of tools you could start using -- or continue using even more effectively.
  • Jon Greer

    Jon Greer has been analyzing media and PR for more than 25 years. He's been a journalist and a PR executive, and has been a featured speaker for many years at the Bulldog Reporter Media Relations Summit, and served as Bulldog's Editorial Director for their PR University series of weekly how-to audio conferences.

    Jon provides PR services including media relations and freelance writing to clients including start-ups, law firms, corporations, investment banks and venture capital firms. In addition, Jon provides spokesperson training. Learn more about Jon's training programs at The Media Bridge.