Why Bloggers & Journalists Are Not Equal

Controversial I know, we have all experienced this in one capacity or another, whether you are a blogger feeling like a PR won’t take you seriously or a PR who is under pressure to focus on the ‘A list titles’, it’s a tricky situation. Remember these are  just my observation and opinion.

Bloggers and journalist are not equal, they are different and serve different functions. I would say that they are both still very important but for different reasons to consumers, brands and PR. Things are always changing and at the moment there is a need to find a balance between bloggers and journalists to create a broad range of opportunities, however, things are always changing and with the internet becoming our main source of information and entertainment, things will start to tilt towards favouritism to the blogger or online magazine.

So, let me break it down for you, my thoughts on the importance of both the traditional journalist and the blogger.

Why are journalists important? 

Traditional journalism and printed media are currently viewed as the most prestigious places to place brands, the ability to claim a product is ‘As Seen in Vogue’ or ‘Cosmopolitan Award Winning’ has a lot of clout from a consumer, PR and brand point of view. It is a fantastic feeling when a brand you represent graces the pages of any printed magazine and to make it into a ‘A list’ publication is very satisfying.

Competition to get into the printed pages is tough, PR companies are set targets by brands and have to fight for the journalists attention, because the client want to see their brand in the top magazines. Hence why, sometimes when a blogger doesn’t receive much attention from a brand’s PR it is likely to be because their budget is focused on achieving printed coverage.

Press clippings are the pride of the PR world, it looks amazing to claim to have graced the pages of ELLE, Vogue or Grazia, it adds value to your service and makes the brand happy!

However, it is incredibly difficult to measure the return on investment on printed PR, if there is a really good piece of coverage the brand might see a uplift in sales, but it’s not always easy to link this to the press coverage. So this is where the online becomes more appealing.

Why are bloggers important?

With the continuing growth of the blogosphere and the ways that we can interact with brands, PRs and consumers, online PR is becoming more appealing for all. Internet coverage is a lot easier for a PR and brand to measure success of, if a blog links to a website, it is easy for the PR/brand to measure how many hits come from that piece of coverage and even what percentage make a purchase. Because of this technology, online PR is easier to justify as you can see a clearer return on investment.

The blogger also offers a personality behind a review, that may be lacking from some printed publications. Readers feel a connection with the author and therefore can relate to and trust their opinions.

How are things changing? 

It is quite clear that things are starting to tilt in favour of online and bloggers for PR. Magazines are investing more time and effort into their online presences, interacting with bloggers with awards and collaborations.

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but a far few magazine journalists who have previously been linked to specific publications have gone freelance, is this a sign of the decline of printed journalism? The clear trend for offering awesome freebies with magazines, promotional reduced prices and rebranding also indicate that there is a clear battle for readers. Don’t you think? All of this makes me think that things are certainly changing, the internet is becoming more important as the days go by.

So, how do these factors effect us bloggers? Here are a few tips on how to deal with the current situation and how to prepare for the future.

Good Blogger Practise

  • Think about how many bloggers are out there (LOADS!) what is your USP? Think about what makes your blog different and valuable to a reader, brand and PR. Don’t think that purely owning a blog means that you are valuable. It takes work.
  • If you want to contact a brand/PR think about how many other people are emailing them with the same request. What can you do to make your emails memorable, appealing and interesting? Also, don’t expect an instant reply, PRs/brands are mega busy and probably have about 200 other bloggers emailing them too.
  • If you want to work with PRs/brands be professional. Even it you blog as a hobby, a PR isn’t going to work with someone who can’t be professional.
  • If a PR/brand chooses not to reply or work with you don’t take it personally there will most likely be a perfectly valid reason which could be to do with their budget, PR focus (the brand might not want blog coverage)
Again, just want to say this is just my opinion based on my observations and experience. I hope you will have found this post interesting and helpful. Let me know if you have anything to add or any questions.
Comment below or tweet me @JayneJRead

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Why Bloggers & Journalists Are Not Equal

  1. As someone who’s worked as a journalist and blogger, I definitely think the balance is (slowly) starting to shift in favour of blogs and online magazines. It will take a few more years but eventually blogging will be the only way!

    1. Thanks for your comment Lizzie. I totally agree, online is going to grow in importance, I’m finding it so interesting watching the slow change over.

  2. Loving your blog posts on these topics Jayne. I actually wrote my dissertation on a very similar topic to this last year. I found it very interesting and it was great to investigate a topic that myself, as a blogger, am part of. I interview the PR’s of a beauty brands (mix of high street and higher end) for the bulk of my evidence and it seems that PR’s see bloggers and social media as a an extension to their work as opposed to the main focus – it is a supplement, not yet a necessity.

    1. Thanks for your interesting comment Lydia, would love to hear more of your thoughts. Would you agree that things are changing and the future of PR will be more focused on blogging and social media?

  3. I would have said years ago that journalists had to please advertisers, and bloggers were free of these restraints. But now more and more blogs run sponsored posts which are essentially advertorials, and have to please brands to a certain extent, in a similar way to journalists. And I think this is a direct result of the shift away from print, and emphasis being put online. Blogs are free information and blogs form a part of all major online magazines and newspapers now, as well of course as independent blogs which are like personal online magazines. People know if they want to research a product, they go to a blog and not one column inch in a glossy magazine. If you want to look at trends, bloggers will have spotted them first, and magazines look to blogs for content ideas. If you want to look at fashion, as stunning as the editorials are in Vogue, you go to blogs to see what clothes look like on real people. As much as I love blogs and online media, I am an old fashioned gal, and hope I never see the day where I can’t pop down to the shops and return with armfuls of wonderful, printed magazines!

  4. Fantastic post, enjoyed every word of it!
    Sorry I can only comment now and then on your posts.
    That bar at the left is still overlapping x
    liloo /@tsunimee xx

  5. Love the article! I think it’s so interesting to reflect on my shopping habits now as opposed to a few years ago. If a magazine mentions a product I’m rarely inspired to shop at all anymore, but if a beauty blogger I trust publishes a quick review I’ll probably have the item purchased within a week!

  6. Very interesting Jayne. I think it says a lot that my shopping habits are 100 x more influenced by blog reviews than magazine reviews, which at the end of the day is the ultimate result or measure of power!

    The power of blogging is increasing, but as 24h PP said, certain types of monetizing blogs may affect this. I’m not anti monetizing at all; I just think it’s something people ought to consider carefully regarding credibility.

    Nx

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