Brands offered protection from bloggers

That’s the word from The Guardian, which report Creston as saying that “brands have lost control of their brand reputation and that’s because of bloggers.” First off, brands have lost control of their reputation because they’re not listening to the feedback from all their audiences, not just because of online editorialisers. After all, it’s behaviour which shapes reputation, not just mediated opinions working in complete isolation. Anyway, how new is online PR or brand monitoring? Those of us active in this area probably do it to various degrees; it’s in my monitoring ‘folio for one. Plus,
we already know that BuzzMetrics do something similar, so is Creston giving a scaremongering pitch of Y2K proportions? To me, it reveals an ‘old school’ attitude that believes all bloggers are activist malcontents with a sharpened axe to grind. From a real PR perspective, tho, bloggers and online forum participants etc are actually useful antennae providing key stakeholder feedback to help pro-Communicators advise their corporate stakeholders on the appropriateness or otherwise of company decision making. Plus, the wisdom and perspective from the blog community helps sharpen up and inform practice – like a daily virtual seminar – in a really useful way. E-axe grinders, I salute you!! Now quit sharpening and get your 2006 PR Disaster Awards entries sent in to gerry@prdisasters.com

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4 thoughts on “Brands offered protection from bloggers

  1. Gerry I couldn’t agree more. As both someone interested in brands and a consumer, I have gained much insight into brands from blogs. I learned to identify those who a re strong and weak, companies that are listening and those that aren’t.
    If anything, companies cared of this are stupid.
    We have well and truly arrived in a world where consumer is all powerful, and for brands that need to interact on this kind of level, they need to be aware of this. Marketers can’t just tell you what you need to buy anymore, we tell the marketers what we want.
    Blogging is just another avenue that has been created to allow consumers to express their needs/thoughts/opinions etc.
    Rather than feel hijacked, they should embrace this as easy access to consumer insight, and learn to work WITH us. We’ll appreciate it and so will their profits.
    Remember: The customer is always right.

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  2. Trevor Cook’s Corporate Engagement blog makes a similar point on this story, too, Age, tho obviously Trev’s right to restate the basic prudency of monitoring opinion. Yes, some consumers want 2-way comms, but to others, the path of least resistance is an easier walk.

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  3. Some brands and retail providers are using to this to their advantage. Here in Australia http://notgoodenough.com.au/ is a consumer site where people can air their issues with companies, good and bad. They even offers a service to companies to have e-alerts when there is a gripe against them.

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