You can probably tell I am obsessing on a single subject, so apologies to those of you who will take this as a bit of a bore… Just picked up this nice story about a dismissal of a Tory blogger by a Tory Press officer as ‘not important’… who’s no doubt got him/herself into some hot water. Either he did not get the memo, or the Press Officer in question’s not been drinking enough of the ‘bloggers are important’ Kool-Aid:
Update: Burke’s Corner reckons it underlines the dispensable nature of Press Officers more than anything else…
PO: Bloggers dont count as media so I cant send it to you.
TP: Right, so you dont see blogs as important then, is that right?:
TP: So what about the likes of Iain dale and ConservativeHome, are they media? are they seen as important?
PO: Yes we feel that they are representatives of the media, and yes we do see them as an important conduit?
TP: But you just said blogs dont count as media.
PO: We see them as important conservative commentators not bloggers, we feel that independent bloggers do not provide an efficient means of communicating the Conservative message.
TP: Not efficient means of communicating the Conservative message – Im a Conservative blogger, all I blog about is politics and the Conservative party, I think thats evident from my blogs title.
PO: Im sorry, but I have already told you that I cannot send you a copy of the press release you asked for.
TP: OK, can you add my details to the press release distrobution list so that future releases and notices are sent to me?
TP: Because bloggs are not important.
Embarrassing? Perhaps. But it is probably an interesting insight into the way a lot of PRs still think. Dale’s important, not because he has a blog, but because of his status he has acquired through the blog, those are not the same things. He also has the utility of the big numbers of his blogging audience and the fact that his a extremely reliable multiplier for the Conservative Party’s Press Office’s core messages…
It begs the qualitative question of what makes a blog politically important? And do we yet have any examples in Ireland?
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty