Thursday, March 23, 2006

mediations: Interpreting EuroBlog 2006

mediations: Interpreting EuroBlog 2006: "For his presentation to the Stuttgart PR and Social Software Symposium Philip Young interpreted the results of EuroBlog 2006 in relation to the claims made for weblogs and social software by 'evangelists' such as Naked Conversationalists Scoble and Israel. I also highlighted two key findings which suggest European PR practitioners are either not aware of or have so far rejected two of the features that evangelists claim will have the most impact on PR practice.

Only 7.1 pc saw communicating directly with stakeholders (bypassing journalists) as most important, with a further 14.5 saying very important; 23.3pc undecided and 55.2 said not very important or least important.

The majority of respondents to Euroblog 2006, the first pan-European survey to investigate the use of weblogs in public relations and communication management, appeared to be unconvinced by this argument. There was a sharp split between converts and sceptics, with one in three practitioners regularly writing or contributing to weblogs but a quarter not engaging with the new medium.

EuroBlog suggests the penetration of weblogs into corporate communications culture by November 2005 was at best fragmented and incomplete. Although most respondents were aware of weblogs, this awareness was at a low level. The picture of a ‘two-speed Europe’, with a clear divide between those who are embracing the new opportunities and those who remain to be convinced.

Here weblogs are seen as an opportunity for sidestepping traditional media gatekeepers; if an organisation (or in some constructs, many, many people within an organisation) can interact with publics it has the advantage that messages go out unmediated, without journalistic distortion, addition or subtraction, that has led the more radical commentators to proclaim that “PR is dead."

Press relations may be and there is a major evolution needed but....

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