PR and The New Influencers

Yesterday, like every morning, I was listening to the BBC's Today programme. One article grabbed my attention - it was an interview with Miranda July, filmmaker, performing artist and writer. She disclosed how she was using her blog to generate buzz about her book, No One Belongs Here More Than You. The blog is quite odd in that it is made up of a series of thoughts, written down on the top a fridge (yes, a fridge!) with a felt-tip pen. Miranda said that the site had generated a phenomenal amount of traffic and she was using it as the main PR tool to get publicity out about her book.

Over the past year a number of authors, and their publicity companies, have approached me to review books or to interview their clients. On my other weblog I have even invited some authors to share some inside knowledge on best places to eat, drink and be merry in Madrid - take a look at this article with Candy Lee Laballe and this one with Beverley Fearis for examples. People are obviously taking note of the power, and spread of blogs, and seeing them as important elements in their PR strategies.

It would appear that the trend is that both authors, and business leaders, are becoming far easier to communicate with. They are not so far removed from the rest of us 'mere mortals' as they were some years back. I can identify with this - only the other day I was communicating with a well-known journalist and carrying out a Skype interview with the founder of a leading Web 2.0 company (if you're reading this Phil, the article will go live shortly!).

Last night I received an email from Phil Gillin, whose book the New Influencers: A Marketer's Guide to the New Social Media seems to be get some excellent reviews from Web 2.0's leading lights. What was great to see here was not just an invite to review, or the dedicated website, but the following invitation from Phil:

What's your take? Tell me how you see social media affecting the markets you cover and I'll add your comments to a new section on the book website.

Web 2.0 and its tools are certainly changing the way that companies do business and I suppose the key is to identify the most suitable tools to get your message out to your target market.


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