The narrowing divide between "social" media and "mainstream" media

Another blog post inspired by the excellent Talk is Cheap unconference last week.

In the InsidePR live recording, one question went along the lines of:

“What do we do about negative comments from a blog post that was the result of online outreach? Our clients are worried about how to react.”

I think that’s a fair question and the IPR team all gave excellent answers that I’m sure you all know about anyway:

  • At least you can track negative comments
  • Negative comments allow you to detect your organization’s “badvocates”
  • People are having these conversations anyway – isn’t better for you to know about them?

Clearly, it is not a good idea to not reach out to people because you are worried that there will be a negative reaction to any resulting coverage but if you are to take that approach, how much does that limit your media relations options?

A whole slew of major media outlets have started to enable comments on their Web sites. And for good reason. Comments promote a deeper engagement between the reader and the content. From a mechanical point of view, they also promote added page views and repeat visitors – both of which lead to added advertising revenues.

But they also open up our clients to the angry, braying mob. Is that a reason to not include the most valuable media outlets, with the biggest audiences, in your outreach?

Clearly, the worlds of social media and the mainstream media are moving swiftly into one, almost unrecognisable, co-joined polymorphous mass.

And the rules of engagement are changing just as quickly.

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