Tuesday, June 16, 2009

You really can find anything on eBay

The internet is big. You can announce your break-up, find a mac-and-cheese recipe pretty dang close to your grandma's, challenge other people at jewel-matching games and make sand art.

And now you can also be a "journalist". As PR people, we constantly find ourselves discussing the "new face of journalism" and how citizen journalists and traditional journalists can peacefully co-exist. We've shifted the methods we use to reach our clients' targets, including bloggers in our outreach efforts and debating regularly who our markets' influencers are.

As our view of credible sources shifts, here's something to keep in mind:
A traditional journalist who reviews a restaurant is going to disclose the fact that the chef comped his meal to get the story.
A blogger may not.

At the recent IFBC in Seattle, panelists brought up this very point, suggesting that for a blog to earn street cred, transparency is key.

Given that:
A traditional journalist will return the product you sent him to review, so that no one can claim that his review was positive because he benefited financially from the opportunity.
A blogger may not. Or as I witnessed today, a blogger may even keep the review product you sent him (which you suggested he giveaway to his readers) and attempt to sell it on eBay.

We're becoming more and more internet savvy. There are Boomers on Facebook and the emails from the Prince of Africa, offering millions of dollars are luring fewer people. Hopefully, the bloggers with higher standards will earn credibility and those without will get ignored.


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