Tuesday, June 7

What Australian PR's think: Where do you think brands and blogs are going in Australia?

I was watching the twitter stream for the BlogHer Food conference in the US with interest a few weekends ago - obviously it's always good to pick up tips from other bloggers - especially those have evolved a bit further along than here - but what I left with was more a realisation about engaged brands are with bloggers over there.  I noticed where a blogger in attendance was tweeting, they would end each tweet with a hashtag of their sponsor - eg: Walmart have a got a strong engagement with bloggers:

Australia is catching up on the brands and blogger relationship-stakes - in the US and the UK 'Mummy blogger's and 'Food bloggers' which I fairly straddle across both, are are wielding more and more influence over consumers.  The brands are beginning to notice here in Australia.

So I decided to take it to some of my favourite reps here in Australia and ask them where they think Australian bloggers and brands are headed:

Mandy Griffiths, Account Manager - Porter Novelli

Blogs are becoming more and more well known as a trusted source and if brands want to succeed they have to create relationships and open a two way dialogue for mutual benefit.

Kat Peden, Senior Account Manager - Verve Communications
Blogging in Australia is still relatively new in comparison to the US and UK, where blogs saturate the mainstream market. As a result, brands in the Aussie market are still investing much more heavily in traditional media to get their ‘message’ to the masses.

This will inevitably change, particularly with the rise in demand of mobile technologies such as smart phones and tablets helping change the way we create and consume information, in turn demanding that publishers and advertisers rethink the way they interact with their audiences.

 Local and national brands should use this ‘calm before the storm’ to learn from their UK and US counterparts, incorporating and executing blogger outreach programmes into future communications strategies to engage a fragmented audience, which is steadily growing online.

Multi-national PR consultancy - identity reserved
Especially over the past 12 months the Mummy Blogger space has grown exponentially. It’s still very different to blogging in the USA or the UK but Australian bloggers are developing their own voice which is exciting to watch.  

Lizzie Culverhouse, Senior Account Manager - One Green Bean:
The influence of blogs will continue to grow as the curation of personal information streams (Facebook, Twitter, Blogs etc.) becomes more mainstream.

The struggles being experienced by the traditional media companies are testament to this. This fragmentation of media is taking traffic and eyeballs from the larger media outlets and feeding the niche. These niche channels are hungry for relevant content, exclusive information and opportunities to provide to their readers.

Brands will have an important role to play in the provision of this information if growth is to be maintained. Blogs, in turn, provide a uniquely targeted and engaged readership for brands. As long as both parties respect each other and (most importantly) the readers by providing content that is both relevant and valuable, then blogs will continue to provide a rewarding user experience and viable alternative to mainstream channels.

As social media and the online environment evolves, both bloggers and brands will continue to experiment with different ways to engage with and grow their communities…ensuring this mutually beneficial relationship continues to thrive.

So as a PR, blogger or a reader, where do YOU think blogging is headed in Australia?  

Do you think blogging is a more recognised/trusted source of information or advice?

Is there a particular way you like brands to be reflected/represented in blogs?

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14 lovely comments:

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella on June 7, 2011 at 10:19 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I've been waiting for this post as you know! ;) It's great to hear from the PRs who we work so often with.

Kellie on June 7, 2011 at 11:19 AM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Love that you've got this straight from the mouths of the PR companies. I'm seeing more and more how people trust the opinion of an ordinary person over brands or celebs. I can see there being a big shift towards bloggers sooner rather than later.
The comment about mobile technology changing the way readers digest information is true. It's the same with newspapers, which are seeing a growing audience online as newspaper circulation decreases.

Christie - Childhood 101 on June 7, 2011 at 12:15 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

What an inspired idea, Liss, thank you. It is fantastic to hear the opinions of the PR firms we work with and wonderful to create a dialogue about how brands/PR and blogs can work together locally.

Mrs Woog on June 7, 2011 at 12:48 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I am being fully sponsored by a company to go to BlogHer in San Diego in August.

This is not an investment they are taking lightly and they are placing a lot of faith in the "trust capital" I have developed with people who read WoogsWorld. And if they had asked me to even change the tone of my blog one tiny bit, I would have knocked back the opportunity to go.

Their brand is their brand and my brand is me. #me

On the flip side, I know I have been influenced when it comes to purchasing decisions, by social media. Blogs are a more targetted, authentic way to get your products in people's faces. And I think this is just the beginning.

Great discussion Liss xx

Love Mrs Woog xx

Ames on June 7, 2011 at 12:49 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Awesome post.

I definitely trust the word of certain bloggers. If I know them to be true then I would buy something from the company they are reviewing.

I know that 'word of mouth' is definitely more reliable than someone on the TV talking about it.

Alex on June 7, 2011 at 1:05 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Thanks for the post Liss.

I think PR companies in Australia are just starting to figure out how to use blogs. I am more likely to believe an honest review of a product (with pros and cons) than advertorials in magazines or reviews on TV.

Mrs Woog on June 7, 2011 at 1:39 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

@Mrs Woog

I have blogged about it here http://www.woogsworld.com/2010/11/business-of-blogging.html and here http://www.woogsworld.com/2011/05/banging-on-about-blogging.html

Site Crash Over xx

Amy on June 7, 2011 at 1:51 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Great post Liss, really interesting reading.

I have been getting alot of mass email lately from one PR firm that appears to not understand bloggers at all. Next time they email me I might shoot them a link to this post.

Anonymous said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

You take the words out of my mouth, brilliant post. I really appreciate you going to the trouble of sourcing all the quotes... high five!

Gabriella - The Stepford Wife on June 7, 2011 at 10:41 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I may not be from Australia to know where about it is heading, but it was very interesting. :)

I thought I'd let you know that I am unable to view any part of your website that has to do with imagoes. I cannot see your background and your sidebar I am unable to have loaded. :/

Liss on June 7, 2011 at 10:43 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

@Gabriella - The Stepford Wife Thanks for your comment and letting me know your difficulty! Can you re-load the page? What browser are you using?

FoodMuster on June 8, 2011 at 8:53 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

This is an interesting post. I recently went to the Good Food and Wine Show in Melbourne and the moment that I mention I am a blogger people got excited and were happy to talk to me and swap e-mail addresses. Bloggers reach so many people and yield a lot of influence, so I think its only a matter of time that bigger companies take bloggers seriously too. Isn't it always the way, Australia seems to be behind the 8 ball so often!! Anyway, I am excited to see more companies big and small, support bloggers!

Marita on June 12, 2011 at 5:25 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Fantastic post.

I think this bit from Lizzie Culverhouse at One Green Bean deserves to be highlighted

"As long as both parties respect each other and (most importantly) the readers by providing content that is both relevant and valuable, then blogs will continue to provide a rewarding user experience and viable alternative to mainstream channels."

Respect - especially for our readers is invaluable.

Veggie Mama on June 12, 2011 at 6:43 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

I think the potential for blogging in this country is huge. And it's only just beginning. Blogging is the new black!


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