Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Jon Udell on reporters, flacks and blogs

Blog/print synergy: my strategies

Gather expertise. I start with topics to which I bring a certain amount of expertise. Then I leverage what I know (and who I know) to find what I don't know (and who I don't know). Of course in the trade magazine business, there is a whole profession dedicated to helping me do that. When a story appears on the editorial calendar, I'm swamped with phone calls and emails from PR folk who want to supply me with analysts, executives, domain experts, and customers. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. I sometimes accept these opportunities, and in some cases, I learn from them. It's dangerous, though, to be led down the path of least resistance. So I rely on the blog to find other people who have important things to tell me. As you can imagine, this makes PR folk really nervous. It's their job to try to control my story. It's my job to route around that control, and the blog is a tremendously powerful tool for doing that.

I think flacks have to let go of this idea of control, or as my late father used to say, "When you give it to the press, you give it away."

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