The new media is growing mightier by the day, and bloggers are the new pressure group in the virtual world. That's also true of a country like India where both Internet penetration and literacy rates are comparatively low.
In May this year, a senior official of a PR agency Text 100, sent me a survey on bloggers. Text 100's Blogger Survey 2008 delves into the perception of Asia-Pacific bloggers about the PR community. The sample size of this survey was 153, with 23 bloggers from India, 14 from Singapore, 10 from Australia, 20 from Hong Kong, 15 from China, 12 from Malaysia, 8 from New Zealand, 14 from Singapore and 17 from Japan.
The responses Text 100 received, in my view, would have been very similar had the survey been polled journalists, instead of bloggers. Here are some key findings:
- A majority of bloggers welcome contact from PR people.
- Bloggers are open to speaking with anyone in the organization, as long as they are the most appropriate person--meaning closest to the topic, informed, respectful, professional, and preferably active in blogging.
- Electronic communication is king. E-mailing of press releases and e-mail interviews/discussions are the most highly ranked formats of content distribution
Today, it's not just the PR agencies, but almost every company–-irrespective of whether it has hired a PR agency or not--is targeting bloggers in some way or the other. Interestingly, I met a friend over the weekend who works for a global audit firm. She informed me that even her firm was now tracking bloggers, besides tracking the traditional media.
That came as news to me. Do people blog about audit firms as well?