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The Changing Face Of Media

Andy Abramson
The recent Old Spice campaign, where an actor and production team responded to celebrities and consumers on YouTube after they had tweeted a comment to the Old Spice team; reminded me of the old blogger relations campaign for Nokia's N90 product.

The Nokia Blogger relations N90 campaign run by Andy Abramson was one of the first well documented case studies on how to run a blogger outreach campaign for a product review. A big part of the Nokia Blogger Relations N90 campaign was that Andy engaged critics and fans of the product and as a result disarmed detractor's and as a result even gained more fans for how the campaign was run.

I asked Andy how he would compare the N90 campaign with the Old Spice campaign and what's changed with blogger relations in the last five years.


Andy: There's a big disconnect in the world of influencer relations, instead of blogger relations we morphed the term into influencer relations. IR is broken down into four categories:
  1. Traditional media.
  2. Industry analysts.
  3. Bloggers.
  4. Social media.

Andy: Today bloggers are being used by the first two groups, traditional media and industry groups, to find the latest news. I'd even suggest that we have to question whether people with a blog or using RSS are all really bloggers. Bloggers have evolved beyond social media, now they are industry experts.

John: Andy told me he spends a lot of time in facebook, linkedin, twitter, while not constantly hitting send button in those areas, he is networking with his friends and followers.

Andy categorizes bloggers into three content classes.

  1. New and shiny, the writer has to tell you about this new object, Engadget.
  2. Release and review, sites like zdnet, writers want to play with the new and shiny, even traditional media like PC Magazine is morphing into this state.
  3. Insight and opinion, writers who give critique and comment on what's happening around them, these are feature editors.

According to Andy, the third group aggregate content from the 1st and 2nd group, and give viewpoint and perspective.

Andy also believes that today's model of intermedia connections is like a pressure cooker, bloggers provide the heat, analysts give the size of market and at the top of cooker traditional media and top social influencers generate hot air that everyone pays attention.

What's most important in this new relationship between commentators are social networking tools, being able to share, retweet, and like content and engagement.

Andy calls the new communications structure within the industry the Boulevard of communications where taste markers influence trend-setters, and trend-setter content is reviewed and discussed by opinion leaders before being shared by followers in their social media networks.

Andy thought the Old Spice campaign was a very well executed campaign with high production values, but it did have some differences from his Nokia Blogger Relations N90 campaign, it was a mass media campaign directed at social media. Influencers were not contacted prior to the start of the campaign, rather everything happened by word of mouth. Though the similarity to the N90 campaign appeared when the Old Spice team engaged influencers actively when those individuals mentioned the Old Spice campaign.

Andy really thinks that traditional media has collapsed because their traditional role as the providers of the latest news has disappeared instead anyone who decides to write and publish on the web can publish the latest news easily, these new bloggers are like blogger paparazzi, getting leads and news and publishing as quickly as possible. These new content producers can publish every hour, while traditional media once published twice a day. Traditional media is having to migrate to the role of insight and opinion rapidly because its so much tougher to get the scoop on a story today.

I asked Andy if engagement was important for a blogger today. Andy thought it helped with adding credibility and judgement, but that when a writer blogs you have to look at whether that writer is writing for themselves or an audience. He thinks that blogging is writing for your audience and that social networking is writing for your friends. In communications we have to understand who a writer is writing for, an audience or themselves, and that influences when you contact them in the boulevard of communications. The New Influence Chain