Blogs, Traditional Media and Corporate Spin

Joe Ciarallo, co-editor of mediabistro’s PRNewser took some time to interview me this week.  We got connected through Kyle Flaherty.  Joe asked some great questions that were worth sharing.  You can read the full interview here.

JC: Are there any clients you’ve told NOT to blog?

GL: Yes, I’ve told several clients not to blog. We’re also launching a social media tool for some clients. Sometimes a company offers value in a very vertical way. Lets say XM satellite. They only thing they add is greater radio. Do they really belong in the blogosphere talking about automobiles?

But, they could maybe talk about great road trips, and then have a blog about it. It’s all about knowing where your place is in the larger picture.

JC: Doesn’t “traditional media” still matter?

GL: We have a chapter in the book about using traditional media to promote new media. There is a weird ping-pong match going on between traditional and new. To ignore either would be a mistake. The reality is there is always going to be a place for traditional media.

Blogs drive info into the spotlight, forcing traditional media to pay attention. Once journalists report on what blogs have to say – it starts a ping-pong match.

The other thing is that I know people say bloggers are citizen journalists, but they aren’t [journalists].

JC: Your column “Action, Not Just Words” in the Washington Post, attacked “green PR” for being all talk and no walk. You mentioned Dell as one company who is following up on its talk. Are there any others you’d like to highlight?

GL: One is Marriott. They’ve been doing it for about ten years.

JC: Do you see it changing?

GL: I don’t know. It’s a strange world we’re in with corporate America. That is really the issue. They’re still being led by folks who will do whatever it takes to build business and be profitable. Social responsibility is being thrust upon these companies. Some will get it. Innovators will get it. Most will not ’till they start losing customers.