Update On The Global PR Blogging Week Alumni
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Reflections On The PR Global Blog Week

The Global PR Blog Week was a virtual conference attended mainly by PR bloggers in the summer of 2004. As it has been five years since the conference I thought it would be good to catch up on what the Alumni from the conference have been doing and thinking, as well as discuss the long term influence the event had on participants.

I'd been blogging for 4-6 months when I heard about a virtual conference called the Global PR Blog Week. While I'd previously been a PRSA member and even helped with the 2001 PRSA technology section conference in Seattle, I'd always been more of a marketer than public relations professional.

Yet the PR blogging community in 2003-04 was very active, if small. I very much wanted to have a dialog with other communications professionals about how social media could be used for marketing. Communications professional bloggers appeared to me to be that group.

The PR blogging community being at the forefront of analysis and narrative on enterprise social media is interesting in itself. As my background had previously been Internet marketing and the SEO industry; at that point in 2003-4 there were not many SEO bloggers, and if an SEO practitioner was blogging, there were few who discussed the issues PR bloggers were writing about: Dialogue, conversation, engagement; all for public relations and marketing.

The PR Global Blog Week introduced me to the PR blogging community, the concept of virtual conferences, and helped forge relationships with bloggers that continue today.

I think the conference was very important for the early PR blogging community. The event gave the PR blogger community a central focal point, helped established some of the norms within the community, and encouraged people to make extra effort to prepare content for the event itself.

For me, the event inspired my expansion of the Corporate Blogging Survey 2004, a series of questions to corporate bloggers about the value of blogging; including, how to blog well as a corporate blogger, and how to set up a corporate blog?

My first post for the Global PR Blog Week included those questions to corporate bloggers, who then answered the questions on the New PR Wiki and also on my PR Communications blog.

In my second post, "MicroSoft Corporate Blogs & Other Stories," I describe the benefits of blogging with examples from Microsoft and Macromedia. In my third post, "The Value of Corporate Blogging", I describe the value of blogging for the enterprise. And in my fourth post, "Now Is Too Late", I wrote a review of the book Now Is Too Late.

When we held the second Global PR Blog Week in 2005, the first survey in 2004 inspired the Backbone Media Corporate Blogging Survey, both as a research tool to understand the state of blogging and its value. And as a way for Backbone Media to announce itself as an agency that provides social media strategy advice and services.

A lot has changed since I first conducted my survey in 2004, participants included bloggers from Macromedia, Microsoft and Dell (Dell had a blog in 2004, but for their Linux community). It was by conducting the corporate blogging survey that I really came understand the value of blogging for business.

Those early insights from corporate bloggers led to several jobs, my book, "Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging," more studies and case studies. What's interesting is that how much I did learn from conducting the '04 and '05 studies and where they have led me in terms of ongoing thinking, career path, and social media.

One big thing that has changed is that we now have more tools for monitoring, and a better understanding of how a triage process for monitoring and response within social media should work. Dell has been tremendously influential to the industry, not just because of the Dell Hell story, but how the company managed to turn things around using social media to measure their success. The entire Dell story was 2-3 years away back in 2004. Macromedia and Microsoft were the poster children for social media in 2004. Now Robert Scoble has left Microsoft, and Adobe bought Macromedia.

After the 2004 and 2005 conferences the PR blogging community grew tremendously. The group organizers talked about another event in 2006, but given the growth of the community, there did not really seem to be the same needs to have such a virtual, all volunteer conference.

I think because the conference was all-volunteer it set the stage for the tone of the community. People were all in the same boat in 2004, we were all learning how to use social media and blogs for corporate communications. Having a volunteer conference meant everyone had to muck in with resources and time; this created a camaraderie that continues to this day.

After the 2004 and 2005 events, the Society for New Communications Research was founded, while there was no direct relation between the events and Society. Many of the participants in the Global PR Blogging virtual conferences have become Fellows and Board members. Participants with SNCR.org, Fellows, Board Members, are non-paid, so some of the same etiquette and practices developed in the conference can be seen at play today in the Society.

Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson were not participants during the 2004 event, but they did get involved in the 2005 conference. Shel & Neville's podcast, the For Immediate Release show captures the themes and tone of those events, and still to this day manages to connect the PR social media community worldwide. The PR Blog Week was global; many of the participants were from across the world.

Trevor Cook had a big role to play in the PR Blog Week it would be really interesting to get his thoughts on the conference, as well as how his work with members influenced future discussions and relationships. Constantin Basturea worked on much of the technology for the web for the site. And Elizabeth Albrycht played an important role in engaging participants and helping set up the program.

These are some of my thoughts on the two conferences, I'd really like to hear or read other conference Alumni impressions from the PR Global PR Blog Week events. To start the conversation off, I'd like to ask each of the participants five questions, which can be answered here or on your blog. If you answer on your blog, send me a trackback, but also put your name and link on the New PR Wiki Alumni page I created for the Alumni Reunion, that way, the whole community can share your perspective. I will blog about any posts published.Here are my five questions:

1) What was the significance of the Global PR Blog Week for you?

2) What were the lasting effects of the Global PR Blog Week?

3) How did the Global PR Blog week influence you and the industry?

4) Reviewing the post(s) you wrote for the Global PR Blog week what has changed? What has not changed, since you wrote the post?

5) Give an update on what you've been doing in the last five years, and what you are doing now?

PR Blog Week Alumni

Constantin Basturea Elizabeth Albrycht  Richard Bailey  Chris Bechtel Anita Campbell Trevor Cook Don Crowther Kevin Dugan Sally Falkow, Matias Fernandez Dutto, Angelo Fernando, Dan Forbush, Bernard Goldbach Robb Hecht Wayne Hurlbert Jim Horton Mike Manuel Alice Marshall Ryan May World of Spin John Mudd Tom Murphy B.L. Ochman Anthony V Parcero,Jeremy Pepper Evelyn Rodriguez Todd Sattersten (A Penny For... and 800-CEO-READ Blog) Trudy Schuett Roland Tanglao Octavio Rojas Steve Rubel (Micro Persuasion) Jeremy Wright  Philip Young   Hans Kullin Colin McKay

If you were not a participant, read through the blog posts, and write a blog post about your thoughts on the event, and the content created. Put the link on the wiki, or let me know, and I will add it to the list. Again I will blog about your post. Good to get the wider community’s perspective on the PR Global PR Blog Week’s impact.