Edelman blog survey finds pitching opportunities for PR pros

NEW YORK: Edelman and Technorati released a blogger survey this week that found disconnect between the amount of contact bloggers were willing to have with PR professionals and the amount they received.

NEW YORK: Edelman and Technorati released a blogger survey this week that found disconnect between the amount of contact bloggers were willing to have with PR professionals and the amount they received.

The online survey polled 821 bloggers and found that half wrote about a company or product at least once a week. When asked how they would like a company to contact them, only 2% said they didn't want companies to do so. A majority of respondents favored a personalized e-mail.

But only 16% of bloggers reported that companies or their PR firms generally attempt to interact with them in a personalized manner, and only 21% reported at least weekly correspondence from companies or their PR representatives. And they reported much of the contact as a simple press release.

CEO Richard Edelman said the results were welcoming and informative.

"They're saying, 'If you want to have a decent conversation, let's go at it,'" Edelman said. "It's an opportunity for us, but the bloggers are specific on how they want that interaction."

Edelman said this reaction was important because the mainstream media was now reading blogs as much as trade magazines to find new trends for articles.

The survey also encouraged respondents to write extended answers to the question of how PR pros could best contact bloggers. Many respondents chided PR reps for sending "spam," such as non-personalized press release or form letters.

Edelman said qualitative data like this, combined with high profile bloggers gripping about formulaic pitches, served as caution.

"This is a warning shot across the bow of the PR profession for us to raise the game," Edelman said. "I don't like it when major bloggers [consider putting] spam control on for all PR agency domain names. We have to do better."

Edelman added that clients were considering reallocating some of their traditional ad budgets elsewhere, and PR professionals had the opportunity to demonstrate how their work in this market could benefit them.

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