“Floundering” might be a word used to describe traditional PR folks attempting to navigate the obstacles of not only the participatory web but even the Internet in general. In a way, it’s sad to watch giants (like WalMart) get the simple concept of blogging so monumentally wrong, drastically weaving to and fro in a vain attempt at regaining its lost credibility. Or maybe it’s not so sad? After all, this is a new frontier… and who better to master it than pioneers?
“Those customers, especially within social media do no tolerate the marketing message and transparency is very, very important.” says Odden.
Adding, “Do what you say you were going to do… not using spin (the quickest way to be marked). Don’t try and make something out of what’s not there.” Spencer reinforces a set of etiquette that some have learned only through cuts and bruises.
“If you hire a ghost blogger on your behalf and you don’t disclose that, you could get really nailed by the bloggers when they figure that out. If you use some soft of method to motivate or ‘incentivize’ the bloggers who are covering you, they’ll say that you’re paying them off. That gets discovered… there could be some backlash.
“What it comes down to is merchandising. IF you know how to… in a very open and engaging / trusting sort of way – it’s totally up front – you have some valuable posts and on the sideline you have some featured products… it’s OK.. Think more laterally about how you can engage in the blogosphere. It’s not just about having a blog.
“It’s a huge opportunity.”