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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bloggers Are PR People

Wal-Mart Gets Bloggers Help In P.R. Campaign

says Michael Barbaro in an article for the New York Times.

He notes that “Wal-Mart is increasingly looking beyond the mainstream media and working directly with bloggers, feeding them exclusive nuggets of news, suggesting topics for postings and even inviting them to visit its corporate headquarters.”

Now isn’t that a coincidence?

In a posting titled “Marketing Profitably - Blogs Buzz Shows Companies Profitable Trends - And Beware Fake Blogs” I noted that companies would be getting others to blog for them. I actually meant they’d employ them to do so. What’s happening here is that Walmart is feeding bloggers useful news and information and getting PR. Without having to pay for it. Now that's great if you can manage it.

The article highlights the vested interest that bloggers have if they’ve been picked by Wal-Mart to get exclusives.

For example exclusive news will tend to increase traffic to the bloggers sites, which in turn raises the likely return from advertising revenue.

The article also notes that Microsoft, Cingular Wireless and General Electric all turned to blogging to raise a buzz about what they’re doing. In contrast Wal-Mart is trying to improve its image.

That’s exactly what publicity is all about.

Blogs must be regarded in the same light as newspapers, TV, radio and magazines. They all have editors with their own axe to grind and the need to keep their media going. That means you weight up what is being said and don’t believe everything you see, hear or read.

What’s that?

You thought the Internet was different?!

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