Social Media Top 5: Bloggers Don’t Care if You’re PR, Accent-u-ate the Negative, & the Need for Community Managers

Do Bloggers Understand the Differences Between PR and Advertising? Should They (Will They) Care?

Jason Falls brings up in a post the notion that bloggers don’t understand the difference between PR and advertising, highlighted by the fact that some bloggers, when pitched by PR, ask for, in essence, a “pay for play” arrangement. Right or wrong, I think we will see more, not less, of this type of understanding. Do bloggers owe it to PR people to care about the difference? I don’t see why they should. It would be convenient for PR people, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.

ReTweeting Negative Comments– Really

It is common to advise clients to engage with negative commenters online- perhaps to sway their opinion, but at least to be part of the conversation and have their side heard by all observers. What burrito chain BoLoco does is a bit more interesting- according to a post by Zach Braiker, they repeat (“ReTweet”) negative posts on Twitter. That’s risky, because Twitter offers little room for context. But it does show a good sense of sport, and a willingness not only to face critics head on by acknowledging them, but to egg on their fans to come to their defense.

Will it work? Here is some isolated evidence:

Surprise! Facebook Fan Page Admins Get Weekly Stats Emails

Are you a Facebook Fan Page administrator? Then you probably got an email last week with page stats. Considering that existing Fan Page stats were thin at best, and slow to update, these numbers, slim as they are as well, are welcome.


I would have been nice if Facebook had done the courtesy of asking permission to send these emails, true we probably opted in somewhere down the line in signing up, but still. This disregard for the the protocols of Internet privacy and etiquette could be applied to more serious matters– to date, Facebook doesn’t have the greatest track record in this regard.

The Need For Community Managers: a Good Reason

In this post by Jeffrey Cohen, Aaron Strout (disclosure: a good friend and former client) of Powered, Inc.  talks about the need for community managers. That need is nothing new in my circles, but Aaron articulates a great point: community managers breed content creation. Creating content is the hardest thing for any company, especially when content is not their core business. Rather than the limited content output of one person, a community manager can harness the creativity of a company’s “fans,” thereby creating much more content. How many content creators does one community manager equal? Ten? More?

(Link contains a video interview with Aaron).

Do You Need to Incentivize Colleagues to Use The Intranet? Then Your Intranet Sucks (or You Don’t Need It).

After reading this article in by Lindsey Miller, I noted a lot of interesting and clever, likely effective ways to entice employees to use a company intranet (or other internal communications tool, for that matter). In my experience, nobody will use these tools effectively if they don’t find them valuable– no matter how many cookies you give them. Forget the gimmicks– just make it work.


  1. Doug – thanks for the love brother. Not my best video interview ever (I was wiped by the time we got to the interview) but hopefully folks will find some value in the content even if the presentation isn’t stellar.

  2. Aaron, you were definitely in full-on SXSW mode (a new burn-out avatar coming soon?). Was unable to locate an embed link for the video or I would have placed it in the post– I encourage people to click through to Jeff’s post and have a watch/listen.

  3. Doug,

    I could not agree with you more. There is no good reason for most bloggers to understand advertising or public relations, with exception of those who are attempting to secure sponsors from advertising or some sort of citizen journalist status. Most aren’t interested in either.


  4. I still have to write my post, in response to Jason’s.

    The bigger issue is what PR people are pitching – or doing outreach for – than being PR people. They don’t really understand what they are doing.

    Recently, I was approached by a PR firm to fix a campaign that was put together by a social media guru (self-proclaimed) that wasn’t really to clear on many PR or, well, SM concepts.

    The program revolved around a widget – yes, this guy loves buzzwords – and I had to tell the client and agency that widgets really don’t work. I get enough emails and calls from various bloggers venting about PR firms that come and ask them to post a widget.

    That’s an ad, not a PR campaign. That’s asking a blogger to give up their own valuable real estate for free.

    It’s stupid campaigns like that that hurt PR and have bloggers saying pay up or shut up to pitches.

  5. Hi Doug –

    Great perspective. I’ll just add that the other thing PR people have to be OK with is if a blogger just isn’t interested – bloggers aren’t de facto going to cover something either just because you spend time with them. I have gotten multiple emails from the same PR person asking me why I haven’t written a blog post on their software when they spent an hour to brief me. Had they stated before the briefing that they were expecting that outcome I would have cleared things up right away and told them up front that I likely wouldn’t blog about them… and they could have guessed that if they read my blog regularly.

    In that kind of situation, I definitely start to think ‘well, what’s in it for me’ because it’s not in line with what I normally cover… so I can see how bloggers – even if they do understand the role of PR – push back with a pay-for-play type of negotiation.


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