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08 February 2005


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Mr. Cook,

I have been involved in setting up three "blogging" events for my company, but have yet to encounter the same dilemma you have here because of whom I work for (but don't doubt that it could happen, because I know it has with some other fairly prominent PR bloggers).

I would think that they would want you to speak based on your understanding of the intersection of PR and blogging, but then again, it's their loss, I guess.

Mark/USA :)

Keith Jackson

"Genuinely the whole community" eh? Well, Trev, it seems H&K have ejected you from their community. Congratulations. It's not really a community you'd want to belong to.

Recently, Jackson Wells Morris was invited by the Department of Finance to pitch for the third tranche of the forthcoming Telstra float. As a medium-sized firm, we were honoured to be even asked - but decided, in all honesty, we didn't have the scale to deliver such a massive undertaking.

So we tried to team up with a larger PR company to effect a joint approach. Most didn't even have the courtesy to respond to our request to talk. The rejection we could accept. It's the sheer pig ignorance of these guys that really gets us down.

Simon Sharwood

I reckon you're better off not going.

"Blogging for PR: tool or transformation" sounds like PR code for "hopping on the bandwagon of a community movement and/or subverting a tool devised and used by ordinary folks to assist our clients."

Which is the kind of thing people find really objectionable about PR.

The effort is probably doomed to failure anyway. Blog readers generally value their authors' objectivity and "outlaw/scofflaw" status. Part of that comes from their disengagement from the whole media/influencer business.

Once they start engaging with PR, theire cred would drain away faster than a free bear down a journo's gullet.

And having worked in IT/corporate PR myself I can tell you that very few clients were ever willing to pay for online campaigns, as PR companies couldn't come up with effective, measurable tactics that engaged with those who follow online minutiae, whose opinions were all-but impossible to change anyway.

After a while they just left the newsgroups etc in their own little world.


Jeez imagine that, the PR industry being bitchy, petty and shallow. Glad I'm sitting down.

alan jones

With a few years of trying to manage online perception of a few diverse Internet brands, I'm yet to come up with an approach that delivers more reward than risk.

My current strategy is to try and keep my brand out of blogs and forums as much as possible, and if someone posts something, to try and contact the author directly and encourage them to take it 'offline' where the audience is going to be smaller and more controllable. One of my brand's competitors actively interacts with his customers in forums, even signing off with his work email address in his .sig. He's forever getting dragged into debates he can't win, and these posts will stay there for any one to google for as long as there's an internet. I'd rather cop a letter to the editor of a paper any day.

Expect the H&K event was more about trying to position H&K as an internet-savvy agency in front of clients than it was about formulating new strategies for the benefit of the industry at large. Expect you knew that too, really. I know there's a few savvy people at H&K.au already, so why the forum, and why invite your competitors? You're very much at risk of suffering at the rough end of the blog, even if you don't withdraw competitor's invitations.

Octavio Isaac Rojas Orduña

Never mind, Trevor.

For some people, it is difficult to accept that "small" competitors are doing better than them.

Take care...

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  • Trevorcook
  • I have worked in politics, public policy and strategic communications for over 30 years. I was recently awarded a doctorate in Australian politics at the University of Sydney. My thesis was on the (changing) relationship between the ALP and unions. I have been blogging since November 2003 and over the past decade I have written many articles on politics, public relations and social media for newspapers, magazines and websites. I love literature particularly John McGahern and James Joyce. The header photo is of the Clarence River taken before dawn at Ulmarra in 2012.


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