Thursday, November 30, 2006

Business Blogs: PR Tool or Marketing Tool?

While working on a PR and marketing plan recently, the question came up: are blogs more of a PR tool or a marketing medium? Seems like an interesting question, yet there has been surprisingly little written about it. "Blog marketing" outscores "blog PR" on a Google search by a margin of about five to two, and you'll find four times as many books about blog marketing at Amazon as you will about blog PR.

However, (which has a very nice list of blog directories and aggregators, by the way) lists about three times as many blogs devoted to PR as focused on marketing. There's an excellent post about using blogging for PR here from the Top Rank SEO blog, though the marketing vs. PR angle seems a bit confused. InternetNews predicted a couple of years ago that blogging would make corporate PR and marketing obsolete, but clearly that hasn't happened yet.

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My own conclusion is that blogs are primarily a PR tool. A well-written blog raises awareness and visibility, and establishes credibility -- all of which are PR objectives. Blogs are not particularly strong at direct response; they rarely excel at marketing functions like selling or generating leads directly. Thinking of your blog as a component of your overall PR strategy will help establish the right direction, and the right expectations for results.


Terms: business blogs, blog marketing, blog PR, blogs are a PR tool,, Top Rank SEO blog

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