Saturday, June 26, 2004

Buzz Marketing or "Stealth" Marketing?

I recently read a blog entry entitled "Stealth Marketing and the Blogosphere" by a guy named Steve Rubel. Rubel works for a traditional PR company, but he keeps a blog called MicroPersuasion, which examines how blogging is impacting the world of PR.

In this entry Rubel recaps two perspectives on blogging as a marketing tool. One perspective is from a woman who feels that people are abusing the blogosphere by hiring people to pretend to be objective independent bloggers or commenters, who just happen to comment positively on a product or service.

The other perspective is that this is just the normal concern of wondering where any media outlet, from the mainstream media to a blogger,is getting its bread buttered.

My opinion? Well, I think they're trying to make general, sweeping statements about very different things.

First of all, people who pretend to be something they are not line are either spammers or creeps! So, this isn't blogging; this is spam...just like you've gotten via email, right? The email that says: "Hey, try this! I made a million dollars working from home!"

Second, I do wonder about "journalistic" or "pundit" bloggers who start to take ads. People tend to think that bloggers are somehow more independent or under less corporate influence than the mainstream media outlets. This may be true until they start taking ad dollars. Then? Well, they may not have a Rupert Murdoch breathing down their neck to toe a party line, but they've got someone paying their bills now, so there's got to be some impact.

But neither of these represent what Worker Bees does. Worker Bees is helping organizations create interesting content and offer it to people. And being affiliated directly with the clients is something that is made very very clear. We're not pretending to be objective or independent.

There's nothing stealthy about it. Just clients doing great things they want to tell their customers about!

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