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During the #prbc Ragan panel, I brought up the point that the line between a blogger and marketer will continue to blur, and you will start to see more bloggers taking a stab at becoming publicists/marketers.
As this trend continues – which I have a feeling it will – everyone is going to have an opinion on the subject. Can bloggers be publicists? Should companies stick with PR firms?
I’m not saying that bloggers shouldn’t be marketers or they can’t be publicists, but I do think a select few might need some insight. So, what’s the reality you may ask? Well, being a publicist/marketer isn’t as easy as it looks.
Instead of pointing out some of the mistakes that I’ve seen as of late, I thought I’d highlight a few key things to keep in mind if you want to tackle working in the crazy world of PR/Marketing.
You No Longer Represent You – Typically, bloggers represent themselves, their name, and their own reputation. When you are hired to publicize/market a brand or product, you no longer represent yourself. Instead, you are seen as the voice for that company and you have to answer to that company. Their reputation is in your hands. This can be a particular tough pill to swallow considering bloggers are known for speaking their minds about everything. You have to start analyzing the details – is there something on your blog that isn’t in line with the companies you are working for? Is that tweet you are sending out appropriate? If you post that on Facebook, who will it offend? Is “LOL” really a good response to criticism?
Grow a Thicker Skin – Sure, the blogging world isn’t always nice to one another – there’s fighting, mean comments – at times it can be a tumultuous atmosphere. I always read posts about how bloggers should start being nicer to one another; I sure wish that was the case with posts about publicists and marketers. See, once you enter into this world, your work will be scrutinized. Are there typos? Did you pitch on point? What are the flaws in the campaign? Is that comma in the right place? Unfortunately, it’s par for the course. However, now if a blogger or journalist “calls you out,” you can no longer blame it on bloggers treating bloggers badly. Why? Well, because you are now a publicist/marketer, and as I’ve stated before, there is no room for error.
Relationships will Change – Once you enter into the PR/Marketing territory, whether you want to admit it or not, relationships will probably change. Maybe it’s a relationship you had with a blogger or even with another publicist; people might start to view you in a different light. I’m not saying every single relationship will change, but don’t be surprised if some publicists start to consider you a competitor, or a few bloggers think you are just talking to them because you want something from them.
It’s More Than Who You Know – Yes, a large part of being a publicist/marketer is about relationships, but it doesn’t stop there. There are messages to be crafted, crisis communications plan to think about, strategizing, reports, and so forth. Relationships might be a popular topic in the pr/marketing space, but really the responsibilities and expectations go far beyond that.
If you choose to venture into the PR/Marketing universe, proceed with caution and think about all the different components involved. If it’s something you really want to do, talk to a publicist/marketer friend to get the scoop on what the reality is like.
Readers, do you have any other suggestions that bloggers should keep in mind if they choose to put on the PR/Marketing hat?
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