PR-agency JKL have decided to shut down their corporate blog. JKL launched what probably was both the first Swedish PR blog and corporate blog back in February 2004, just when I launched this blog. It’s sad to see it go, it has been one of very few corporate blogs in the country that have been worth reading. And I don’t say that just because I guest blogged there two years ago 🙂
Today might be a small landmark in the short history of Swedish corporate blogging. This has to be the first example in Sweden, where a post in a corporate blog finds its way into mainstream media (both entries in Swedish only, but see my comment in a recent post). Anders Kempe and Anders Lindberg at PR agency JKL comments on the state of Swedish media, and it got picked up by the political chief editor of Svenska Dagbladet (large Swedish daily).
Congrats to Billy McCormac (who I will have the pleasure of meeting on Wednesday, in real life…) of JKL who is one of the driving forces behind their pioneering corporate blog.
Welcome to the first, highly non-scientific PR blog World Championships. The number of PR blogs are increasing and some of them are becoming real institutions in PR blogland. I decided to have a look at which PR blog is the most influential (I know wich ones I like to read but what about every body else?) by simply counting the links via Technorati. Yes, I know it is not a very good research method, but it’s fun. File it under blog PR stunts. I thought this was equally as interesting as MarketingSherpa Blog Awards which only lists 6 PR blogs.
And the winner is – [drums please] – Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion, of course. There are a total of 286 links from 61 sources to his blog, and admit it, you read it too. Runner up is Tom Murphy at PR Opinions with 112 links from 78 sources.
The 28 most influential PR blogs (apologies if I have missed some):
1. Micro Persuasion 286
2. PR Opinions 112
3. Corporate Engagement 101
4. Corporate PR 51
5. PR meets WWW 35
6. PR Fuel 33
7. Pop! PR 31
8. PR Machine 29
9. Strategic Public Relations 29
10. Engage 25
11. PR Communications 24
12. PR Studies 22
13. Minnesota PR 22
14. Canuckflack 21
15. Marc Snyder 20
16. B.L. Ochman 20
17. Media Culpa 19
18. A PR guru’s musings 18
19. JKL blog 15
20. Media Guerilla 12
21. Ravabete Omoomi 11
22. Technoflak 9
23. Mark My Words 8
24. Hoi Polloi 7
25. Kitablog 6
26. Mediations 6
27. Media Map blog 3
28. CommLog 2
Here is a short translation of my guest post on JKL blog yesterday.
Blogging is starting to become a hot topic in Swedish media. The number of articles has risen from just 2 articles in 2001, to 56 in 2002, 105 in 2003 and 81 so far this year. The lion share of these articles, or two thirds, are from IT and technology trade press while meta media (media about media) is almost invisible. But Sweden is still lagging behind the US where blogs are debated and exploited by both journalists and PR professionals.
Blogs affect how media work and thereby also people in PR and communication, since blogs have the possibility to transform the relationship media producer/consumer to a conversation. For example, the TV channel VH-1 recently put up a blog for a show they were launching and comments and ideas from the public found its way into the show’s script. Some journalists check facts with bloggers, while others find that their planned scoop for a follow up article is already out on the net, because bloggers have already thought along the same lines. A thousand minds think better than one, you might say.
Some of these new micro media become opinion leaders and how do we as communicators relate to them? Can you pitch a story to a blogger and how do you do that? Communicators often want to have control over information, not from a propaganda perspective, but to have the whole picture in order to make the right decisions. We want to know what is being said about our brand. All this becomes more complicated when blogs become more established in Sweden. One wonders when the first service is launched that monitors and alerts when my brand is mentioned in a blog. Maybe it already exists, if you know, please tell me.
So why is the blogging phenomena not being discussed at all in Swedish marketing and journalism press? The first and most obvious reason is that there are almost no commercial cases to talk about. Corporate blogs are still rare in Sweden. Another reason I think is that the blogosphere is like a universe of its own and if you are not participating in the dialogue, you just don’t realize the potential and the implications of this new form of communication. The blogospere is a little like a black hole, if you come too close you get sucked in and get absorbed, but before that it is all black, you just don’t see it.
My advice to PR professionals in Sweden is that they should start their own blog right now, just to get acquainted with the format, it is easy and free and you can blog anonymously. Once you have decided a theme and you feel that your blog is running smoothly you can make it public and start to market it, although the marketing bit seems almost unnecessary, since blogs are so viral they almost market themselves. That should be enough incentive for any marketer.
Today I am guest blogging on JKL Blog about the increasing attention for blogging in Sweden. Swedish media has written 81 articles so far this year about blogs, compared to 105 articles in 2003, 56 articles in 2002 and just 2 articles in 2001.
But the debate is mainly in the IT and technology press (two thirds of all articles). Marketing media is yet to discover this new form of communication, probably because of lack of local success stories.