Saturday, August 20, 2005

Is there any reason not to respond to an inquiry?

John Wagner asks a question on his blog:

Question for you PR spokespeople: If a blogger called you today and wanted a comment on an issue involving your company or your client, would you return the call? Would you go on record with a blogger?

How would a non-response ever serve a client’s interest? And since when were flacks too great and grand to talk to anyone? As for going on the record, is there any other way to go?


John Wagner said...


When I used the term "on the record," I wasn't being entirely precise.

What I should have written is, "would you agree to an interview?"

I asked the question because I don't think many PR folks -- especially those in non-tech fields where blogging is still quite new -- are prepared to respond to bloggers as they do media people.

The view of bloggers as "troublemakers in pajamas" might be reason enough for some PR people to avoid an inquiry from a blogger.

It might also be a matter of priority, as Jeremy Pepper says. Does a blogger's inquiry rate equally with one from the mainstream media -- in the minds of the folks who read my blog??

Alice said...

I would respond to any inquiry. When Paul Wellstone's plane crash a poster on the Salon TableTalk bulletin board called the charter company to ask for details. This was just an ordinary citizen, not even a blogger. The company very patiently answered all his questions. While they did not answer all the questions surrounding the crash, they did reassure the poster and those reading the board that the company had acted responsibly and shared others' grief in the loss of lives. That was PR at its finest. To me the lesson is answer every inquiry.