This week’s issue of UK public relations trade magazine, PR Week, has a ‘blog special’ feature, and a front-page headline, Fake bloggers to be exposed.
This says: “PR professionals who pose as customers to blog for clients could soon find themselves named and shamed by Trading Standards, and even face civil court proceedings.” (From a UK construction industry perspective, my thoughts immediately turned to incongruous ideas of a Football Association blogger telling what a fantastic job contractor Multiplex has done at Wembley Stadium!)
I wrote about ‘splogs’ (spam blogs, often generated for search engine optimisation – see post) 15 months ago. Today, it appears ‘flogging’ has a new meaning: fake blogging. PR Week says “‘flogging’ is likely to be made illegal when the EU’s Unfair Commercial Practices Directive passes into UK law on 31 December 2007”.
PR Week has some PR guidance on corporate blogs, and talks about the widely varying levels of authority and respect that some blogs command compared to other media. The research, it says, is unclear:
“In a recent US survey by Blogcount.com, 30 per cent of respondents said they found blogs less credible than newspaper articles, with 38 per cent finding blogs more credible. In a poll last November by Ipsos MORI for Hotwire PR, more than 25 million European adults said they had changed their minds about a company or its products after reading reviews on a blog. In the same survey, blogs (24 per cent) came second to newspapers (30 per cent) as the most trusted information source.”
By the way, the latest UK construction weekly to jump on the blog bandwagon (bloggon perhaps?) is Contract Journal. Journalists at rival Building magazine have been busily blogging for at least a year (see Building blogs post) and now writers at CJ (editor Emma Penny and web manager, Bex aka Rebecca Froley) have joined the blogosphere with the pithily entitled CJ Construction blog, talking about some of the stories making headlines in the newspaper (this week’s headline story, coincidentally, is a web-linked item about dangerous site antics being recorded on video and posted on YouTube: Industry outrage at YouTube videos apparently showing dangerous on-site horseplay).