Some Thoughts on Euroblog2007

Back from Euroblog 2007 Conference there are quite a lot of impressions which may have influence on my work within the next months. Here I’d like to share some of them and several links to interesting posts on the conference and the study.

For all who had not the possibility to stay at Ghent or to read the results (pdf) of the Euroblog 2007 survey, Philippe Borremans did an interview with the three researchers to get a first impression on the findings and the challenges for PR now.

On the one hand one like me working on Social Media and PR could be lucky with results like these. Since they mean that our students of Online-PR look into a bright future (hey, keep on bloggin‘, folks!). On the other hand some of the results seem quite surprising. For me it’s remarkable that one in two of the answering PR professionals says he/she uses RSS and only 7% admits to never reading weblogs. Quite surprising to me too: 20% claim to use professional services to do blog monitoring. Concerning these (and the other results of the study) we should remember that it is not representative and there are more of 40% of the respondents working in the fields of consulting or IT as Swaran Sandhu pointed out during his presentation. Another two factors may influence the results: The social desireableness (people tend to answer what they think they are expected to answer) and the snowball system which was used to recruit participants. However (and to avoid misunderstandings): The Euroblog Survey is a great project of research giving a lot of important insights and it’s one of the few independent ones.

The whitepaper on the business value of blogging (pdf) published by Lewis PR should be seen in contrast to that. Of course, the agency likes to prove their knowledge and this is ablolutely ok. I take it as a good sign for the PR industry that more and more agencies rely on PR theory and participate in the basic discussion. On the conference the agency presented a four step guide to corporate blogging. This is a very interesting approach we will have to discuss upon within the next time. During the conference there has been some discussion on the outsourcing of corporate blogging. IMHO this is only possible with blogs on a project basis (e.g. during a fair) but not with an enduring corporate blog.

The third important topic of the conference to me was Secondlife. I liked Neville Hobson’s keynote on this very much. He pointed out that the media landscape is changing very fast today and a company collecting some experiences within SL or similar communities may have an advantage. But at the same time Neville doesn’t hype SL – even since he has his office there ;-)

Finally I like to provide a link to the presentation Daniel Koempel and I held on the conference. We gave an impression on the qualitative research my students and I did in the last semester: We had a look at projects and strategies of 15 companies in Germany using the Social Web in PR. On the conference we presented some results concerning BASF, BMW, Ikea and Siemens.

It was a very enjoyable conference – thanks a lot for the invitation to Ansgar, Philip and Swaran and thanks to the PR students in Ghent organizing the event. They did a great job!

Update: Martin Oetting did some Liveblogging (in German): here, here, here, and here.

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