What makes a blog politically important?

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 don’t count as media so I cant send it to you.”
TP: “Right, so you don’t see blogs as important then, is that right?:
PO: “Yes.”
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 don’t 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 that’s 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?”
PO: “No.”
TP: “Because bloggs are not important.”
PO: “Yes.”

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?

  • For what its worth Mick I think they begin to take you seriously if you are also present in traditional media.

    Iain Dale is a good example of a blogger who the press rely on as a commentator in GB. There are a few in ireland who succesfully cross over but most dont.


  • frustrated democrat


    Why don’t you ring up to see if they will send PR’s to you?

  • Mick Fealty

    Not sure I’d want to be regarded as a ‘conduit’ though…

  • Slightly laughable that they dont want to add someone to a press list. Unless they’re sending out embargoed press releases, which parties very, very, very rarely do, at least in the republic – it’s stupid.

    Surely they’d want their message and spin going direct into the hands of as many citizens as possible – be they Labour or Tory voters – even better if they’re Tory bloggers.

    Blinkers, Ivory towers and impending joblessness come to mind upon reading the duologue there.

  • cynic

    Sounds like a twat but with the control freakery comments of a Nu Labour Media stooge

  • For what it’s worth, that Tory response would probably go a good deal more towards recognising the importance of blogging than any conversation one would have with a Labour press officer. From what I’ve seen, Labour’s engagement has been limited to one breakfast with a fairly arbitary list of bloggers – mainly ones who are entirely ‘on message.’

    The SDLP could teach their fraternal sister party a thing or two in that respect….