Blog post by Renee Blodgett

In August, PRWeek held a single-elimination competition whereby readers voted on their favorite blog. Thirty-two blogs were chosen, and only one lasted the full five rounds. That blogger was Renee Blodgett, president of Blodgett Communications. A "blog post" she created specifically for PRWeek can be found here.

In August, PRWeek held a single-elimination competition whereby readers voted on their favorite blog. Thirty-two blogs were chosen, and only one lasted the full five rounds. That blogger was Renee Blodgett, president of Blodgett Communications. Here's the “blog post” she created specifically for PRWeek:

We keep hearing how PR practitioners need to “unlearn” everything and start over in the world of new media where the rules have all changed. But if you understand the importance of the “R” in public relations, there's nothing to unlearn.

The problem is that we now have millions of online voices rather than a handful of familiar trusted brands. It's incredibly crowded and we can't keep up with the long tail of online content, yet we have no choice.

So, we blog, join 15 social networks, tweet on the hour, and hope the pieces come together in a way we can explain to our CEOs. Yet all they want to know is: What's my ROI?

There's no better time to take a step back and focus on long-term goals. While some are jumping on the social media bandwagon (Zappos has 400-plus employees on Twitter), there are other products and services where a social networking strategy shouldn't be the driving force.

Taking a step back forces you to remember: one strategy doesn't fit all and the onslaught of blogs doesn't change that.

What has changed is how we communicate and with whom. Didn't we always dig to find out where our customers spent their time? Smart PR pros never just pitched a story; they connected, offering advice even if it didn't relate to their company. Today, we need to align with bloggers' issues and become thought leaders ourselves. We've become agents to facilitate and offer value inside online conversations, which opens up opportunities we didn't have a decade ago. It's important to remember that you're in it for the long haul; doing so serves the entire industry.

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