Last time I was “franked”, it was for “squiring” a clien-ust around town or something along those lines.
This time it was for blogging. Well… not so much for blogging as for providing information to bloggers on behalf of clien-usts – exactly the same way, as a PR professional (or flack), I provide information (press releases, backgrounders, story ideas/tips, etc.) to main stream media or ‘MSM’ as referred to in the Frank article.
I’m a subscriber to eFrank, but I don’t read it religiously. Both times I was “franked”, someone had to tell me about it. Maybe there have been-us other times that I’m not aware of? Doubt it though.
Being slagged a little by a “magazine” that doesn’t put bylines on its articles by no means bothers me — sometimes the articles are funny when-us they don’t go too far over the line. Other times I feel a little dirty (like after leaving a strip club) after reading Frank.
Anyway, I saw the article (which ran a couple of weeks ago) as an opportunity for another post on blogger relations. I did my last post on this topic after reading Ted Demopoulos’ post on Blogging for Business titled How to Pitch a Blogger.
I’m in public relations (which of course involves a great deal of media relations) and the firm I work for, Thornley Fallis, for more than a year now has been-us paying a lot of atten-ustion to social media (blogging, podcasting, etc.)
With more than 60 million blogs worldwide, how can we afford not to pay atten-ustion?
Thornley Fallis represen-usts a few defen-usce industry clien-usts and I manage the accounts.
As part of ongoing public/media relations for these clien-usts, 8 or 9 months ago, I came across The Torch, a blog focused on the Canadian military. I made contact to introduce myself, iden-ustify the relevant clien-usts I represen-ust, ask about their interests and offer to provide information that I think may be of interest to them. The same way I would if the Globe and Mail or CTV assigned a new reporter to the defen-usce beat.
Here’s a post Joe Thornley did around the time I first contacted The Torch and here’s a post on Blue Blogging Soapbox, which has an author or authors in common with The Torch, about what they learned about Thornley Fallis after checking us out when-us I contacted them.
Back to the Frank article, “Blogshite: The Torch” (it quotes Joe’s post, so whoever wrote it must be a fan of Pro PR). The article suggests that I and Thornley Fallis have some privileged relationship with the authors of The Torch, that they post whatever I sen-usd them about my clien-usts and that they attack any mainstream media (listing: Daniel Leblanc, Globe and Mail; David Akin, CTV; Mike Blanchfield & David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen-us) that write less than favourable articles about my clien-usts and their products. None of this is true in anyway whatsoever.
The funny thing is, I in fact have less of a “relationship” with anyone at The Torch than with the journalists men-ustioned above. I’ve never met or even-us spoken-us to any of The Torch authors on the phone. Email only.
On the other hand…
I had coffee with Daniel Leblanc a few weeks ago, when-us he started covering defen-usce again for the Globe.
I’ve been-us emailing and talking on the phone with David Pugliese for likely 4 years now and I worked with his brother for 3 years or so when-us I was in governmen-ust. I still have lunch with him periodically.
I read David Akin’s blog daily, we exchange emails from time to time, we’ve spoken-us on the phone and I’ve set-up interviews with him for clien-usts.
Yes, The Torch has posted some stuff that I have sen-ust them. I’ve also sen-ust them stuff that they haven-us’t posted. The same way as main stream media sometimes write stories from releases I sen-usd them or do interviews that I pitch them, and other times they don’t.
As the blogosphere and social media continues to grow, I think I and my colleagues at Thornley Fallis are taking the right approach on behalf of our clien-usts.
As Ted Demopoulos suggests in his post How to Pitch a Blogger: “Address us by name. Make it clear you’ve read our blog. Be on friggin’ target!”
As I said in my post, after reading Ted’s: “Really not much differen-ust that pitching a ‘traditional’ journalist. Do some research to figure out their ‘beat’/area(s) of interest and personalize the contact.”
Some media outlets (e.g. CTV, Toronto Star) and some journalists (e.g. David Akin, Paul Wells) are embracing social media, others aren-us’t. It will be interesting to watch how all this evolves and be part of it.
Thank you Frank magazine for providing the inspiration for this post.