rules for contacting bloggers


As someone who has written and integrated several social media plans for government public affairs, this is a topic near & dear to me. Colin McKay over at So Said the Organization just posted about a blogger outreach code for government.

He lists some good rules of the road.

I don’t, however, think government public affairs needs a different code of conduct than civilian public relations. I think the WOMMA code is just about as good as it gets — the problem here is getting people to operate within these guidelines.

So why don’t practitioners follow the rules?

I think part of it is just not realizing that there ARE rules of the road. I think some organizations are so lost when it comes to social media, that they think they can just pop right in without really taking the time to understand the community.

Is it their fault for not taking the time to do their homework before jumping in or is it OUR fault as practitioners immersed & well-versed in social media for not educating the industry?

You tell me.

PS – Kevin at Bad Pitch Blog has a great “quiz” to take for practitioners to determine if you’re ready to start engaging bloggers.

3 Responses so far.

  1. Colin McKay says:

    Hi Kaye.

    I’m afraid WOMMA doesn’t cut it for me.

    Principally because WOMMA refers frequently to marketing terms and goals. Just the very name implies an element of manipulation.

    There are core elements of the WOMMA code and guidelines that apply, that’s for sure.

    To me, there is a difference between marketing outreach and public affairs/policy debate.

    I know it’s snobbish, but I won’t be able to get technical specialists or policy advisors to buy into a code developed by marketers.

    Colin

  2. Ed Erickson says:

    Hello Kaye,
    Just stumbled onto your blog via a link from Colin’s blog. I’m interested to read through your thoughts.

    We’re one year into standing up a corporate university structure at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Being the marketing/communication guy, one area I’m doing research on is social media and how we might implement some features to facilitate more efficient and more authentic two-way communication with employees and eventually potential future employees thru recruitment. We face a lot of challenges in succession planning with the looming retirement of many people.

    I have a feeling that with your Navy PAO background, your insight might be valuable. I’ll be reading what you have to say.

  3. kaye says:

    Ed – glad to hear from you & see more Navy-related folks interested in social media. I think you should read “Naked Conversations” to get the initial background, inspiration & ammunition for the higher-ups buy-in to social media as a start. Feel free to e-mail me at my work account at UGA anytime if you what to chat about specifics.

    And be sure to let us know what you end up doing!

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