Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Distributed Public Relations? Blogs, and the "Long Tail"

From PRWeek's article on what Chris Anderson's "Long Tail" concept means for public relations:

...by enabling its [Microsoft's] employees to write about their work and share personal views, Anderson says it has given him a better connection with the company. The sum of those voices (the "Long Tail" of minor players at a company) impacts him more than the messages coming from the top.

"It communicates the company's message in a way I want to hear," Anderson says. "[The employees] have become Microsoft PR."
Anderson sees the "Long Tail" having a lasting effect on PR, in general, and media relations, specifically....


This is right in line with our hypotheses in the experiment we ran last semester. The article's out for review, so we don't know yet if the journal we submitted it to will publish it. We're still waiting, but I think it's safe to share the
abstract:

This study explores the role of corporate blogs in relationship building. First, operational definitions of relational maintenance strategies appropriate to online public relations are developed and tested. Next, these constructs are used to test hypotheses evaluating potential advantages of corporate blogs over traditional Web sites; corporate blogs are found to have a significant advantage in conveying a “conversational human voice.” Third, the variables are found to correlate with perceived relational outcomes in an online setting.


In any case, it's good to see we have an audience at the intersection of theory and practice for the idea I'll call "distributed public relations."

2 comments:

Harsh said...

Tom

I'd be very very interested in reading what you found. However, I think by not posting the paper, you're actually going against what the blogosphere is all about. I'm not making any value judgements...I spent too much time in grad school trying to conceal what the research was about and submitting it in journals. I understand your point of view.

However, I think, the blogosphere is actually about changing that point of view. The criteria for tenure at Universities should now start including something do with blog influence to encourage professors and grad students to share their ideas.

This is not meant to offend you in any way...it's just that I still see a lack of support from academic institutions to the whole social web movement.

Nelson Bruton said...

Tom,

Do you still live in Hawaii?

I found you through a blog string and thought I would invite you to join www.inSocialMedia.com

Regards,

Nelson Bruton