The value of bloggers in a social world

This semester we have been discussing crisis communication and the different approaches to a crisis. I was particularly interested in the importance of pre crisis relationships and noticed the value of bloggers as stakeholders was not very evident.  I know… there are lots of blogs and almost anyone who has an opinion can become a blogger instantly. Positive relationships with bloggers may be more effective than simply disseminating a press release to mass media in a crisis. Bloggers are everyday people who have the ability to enhance or diminish your brand’s reputation. They start conversations and are highly influential. Why wouldn’t this audience be a key stakeholder for your company?

Now don’t get me wrong, in order to be an effective IMC professional you have to be able to utilize traditional and non-traditional mediums in order to reach your target market. Traditional media is still very important. But, where do the bloggers fit in this cycle? Forrester Research has come up with a very interesting profile called Social Technographics which identifies different audiences and how they use social technologies.

Social Technographics

Social Technographics by Forrester Research

As you can see at the top of the list are the Creators. These people make the social world! They make the content that is consumed by others. Creators are bloggers. The next level is Conversationalists. While they do not create the content, they sure do participate in it! Just think about it, when your company is going through a crisis-these are the people you probably want your developing messages to reach immediately. Critics and Collectors also play very important roles as reviewers and consumers of information in the social world. However, their interactions are all relevant to what the Creators choose to put out.

In a Nutshell: As you evaluate pre crisis relationships, do not forget we now live in a social world. Identify key bloggers of your target demographic and develop relationships. This simple step can prove very influential and provide you with a trusted route to your consumers in good times and bad.

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