I’m not surprised that mega PR firm MWW Group this week announced a weblog marketing practice (called “Blog 360”). I am surprised, however, that it took management this long to see blogs as a new way to make a buck.
I’m not knocking the need for PR agencies to help their clients understand and participate in the blogosphere; on the contrary, it’s an absolute necessity. Some agencies are doing it very well and should be commended (Steve Rubel of CooperKatz and the author of Micro Persuasion, where I first saw this story posted, is an example of what’s going right with PR today).
MWW, which is owned by Interpublic, is putting profit ahead of practice. The company doesn’t even have its own blog. Moreover, they continue to ignore the reality of today’s modern media environment, that they (the PR people and their clients) are no longer in control of the message.
In the company press release, MWW says they are “expert at identifying and leveraging strategic marketing tools that generate significant ROI for clients. As media channels continue to become more segmented, blogs represent a new and emerging opportunity for companies to pinpoint communications to key constituents.”
That last line says it all — “pinpoint communications to key constituents.” What about listening? Participating? Rubel perhaps said it best in an interview with ClickZ : “Consumers are in control, and consumers are the media. It’s a paradigm shift that’s going to change PR forever. We need to be listening to bloggers as much as talking to them.”
MWW took the first step — recognizing that blogs are important and that clients need to be educated. But before they launch Blog 360, they should do a 180 and participate in the medium, listen to what’s being said and how, and understand that people are not just consumers of information, but creators as well.
Read more about Blog 360 at Micro Persuasion.