Vendors and Bloggers Locked in Love and Hate | HR Fishbowl

Written on June 15, 2012 by Charlie in Guest Post, Theory

I rant. It’s what I do. But whether it shows or not, I recognize that I’m just one voice among many. And I (really) like it when someone is willing to shout back with theirs.  I published a post this week about the dangers of resigning too much of one’s self to Vendors when blogging from conferences. I did so knowing that one PR Firm in particular had already committed to providing their counter-argument to mine. And so today – as promised – Jackie Abramian tries to get all persuasive in here. Jackie is a seasoned PR practitioner and currently consulting for BridgeVIew Marketing a full-service agency based in Portsmouth, NH, providing media relations, marketing, web development and demand-generation services to the world’s leading technology, clean energy and green data center companies. The following post from Jackie is published in its entirety without any editing on my part.

Having been in the PR world for 20 years, I’m always providing interview sources for editors, analysts and bloggers about new tools/services/products that would, in one way or another, benefit their readers.  After all, the media and bloggers are looked upon by their readers as sources of “knowledge”, pontificating upon the latest and greatest offerings. In retrospect, I find nothing presumptuous about it.

I assume most media, analysts, and bloggers who decide to attend conferences and tradeshows are in search of new innovations to showcase on their venues first. It’s the PR practitioner’s job to assist journalists and bloggers by putting these innovations on their radar—making their job a little easier because they do not have to wonder aimlessly about the show floor in a quest to find the Holy Grail of the latest product or service. OK, I admit, the “Holy Grail” of innovations does not come along too often— I typically reserve that label for items such as the iPad, Twitter and Facebook.  However, coming from the journalism world myself, I make sure that I do not dish out “puff” and always address editors and blogger by name, as I did with this blogger.

Case-in-point: In pitching SHRM attendees about my client ALEX™, the virtual employee benefits counselor and their cloud-based employee benefits communications tool, I honed in on  compelling points relative to how the tool is changing employees’ attitudes toward sitting through boring benefits meetings.  In addition, I assumed that if Employee Benefits News included ALEX in their April 15 cover story, then respected HR Bloggers would be interested to know about the tool and how cumbersome HR communications and confusing insurance jargon can be transformed into a unique exchange of personal information. Now that’s something different!  I bet most HR and benefits folks would love to know how the tool can streamline their work and improve results.  It seemed many bloggers attending SHRM were “very interested” in scheduling a briefing to learn more – and not hung up on Google pagerank.

Indeed, workshop and panel presenters at these events are experts, and writers gravitate toward these people for content. However, as journalists, you shouldn’t gravitate toward stage presence alone.  You should continue to still seek out vendor booths with hidden content/gems.

I appreciate this opportunity and the forum to present a different view.  The forces of PR and media may forever remain locked in a love/hate relationship, but there are mutual benefits to sharing information. And to Bloggers who commented on Charlie’s warning, and said they already scheduled vendor briefings – good for you for mining knowledge that you can share with your readers. You are as valued as the knowledge you share.

Image credit: procsilas (via Compfight)

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