PR firms are mighty enthusiastic to have relations with bloggers. Close, close relations. APCO Worldwide—a scarily connected lobbying and PR superfirm with all types of ex-politicos on its payroll (including former White House flack Scottie McClellan!)—just released a survey on "The State Of Blog Relations," that asked both bloggers and PR people about their ideas on how they can make nice with each other [via PRWeek, where I used to work]. So the flacks all came off like devious bastards, right? Well, some, but the bloggers also came off like money-grubbing sellouts!
Over half of PR people said they do a good job sending bloggers relevant information, but two thirds of bloggers disagreed. And less than 40% on both sides agreed that "bloggers are journalists and should be treated as such."
A vast majority of flacks, 86%, said it's not okay to leave an anonymous comment on a blog on behalf of a client. Of course, there's plenty who wouldn't mind doing it on behalf of themselves, if our suspicions are correct.
And the biggest disconnect of all didn't really make the bloggers look like the righteous bunch. 96% of flacks disagreed with this statement: "It is okay to compensate bloggers for writing about my clients, but it is not up to me to tell them to disclose the payment."
But almost half of bloggers agreed. They want to get paid, yo!
So at least half of bloggers are ready to get paid by PR firms, and not have to reveal it unless they feel like it. That's really all the PR industry needs, thank you very much.
More importantly, APCO wants YOUR comments on the issue, right here. While you're there, why not add your thoughts on APCO's extensive work on behalf of the tobacco industry? Honesty is the best policy when it comes to blogland!