Edelman, ‘the worldÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s largest independent PR firm’, have recently released a new white paper on all things blogging. Their assessment suggests that, although the number of blogs might be peaking, their influence on mindsets is still growing.
Some of its key points:
- Blog readers are young males who are action orientated and are influencers in their field.
- 23% survey respondents read blogs regularly.
- 28% of readers take action in response to a blog post.
- Blogs were influential in breaking stories such as the exploding laptop batteries and GoogleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s acquisition of YouTube.
- The most popular blogs are political, tech or business focused Ã¢â‚¬â€œ people read them for information and insight, not purely entertainment.
- Businesses need to engage the blogosphere to find their advocates and detractors and to start a dialogue to enable the influencers amongst their readership to be more effective.
- Corporate thinking of the last 50 years, to control the message and communicate one way, is inappropriate for a two way dialogue.
- If businesses want their viewpoints to be heard they need to engage in a transparent manner.
- Blogging is part of the Ã¢â‚¬Å“evolutionary process, from control to conversation, because effective public relations depends ultimately on earning trust every day.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Some key points for UK bloggers:
- In 2005 people asked Ã¢â‚¬ËœWhat is blogging?Ã¢â‚¬â„¢, now the question is Ã¢â‚¬ËœHow do we work with it?Ã¢â‚¬â„¢
- Political blogs are the most popular Ã¢â‚¬â€œ representative of the desire for information not provided by the traditional media or by politicians Ã¢â€ â€™ using Ã¢â‚¬ËœspinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ and ambiguity simply forces people to look elsewhere for the truth.
- Blogs have been instrumental in breaking political stories e.g. John PrescottÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s extramarital affair.
- 66% of the blogs studied commented on nationally recognised companies, 44% on international businesses.
- Blogs are steadily emrging as an influential media channel for the info hungry.
The report contains some interesting points for businesses not aware of the influence of the blogging phenomenom, and further reinforces what savvy bloggers have known for some time.