This week a senior journalist at the Sunday Express told how Tower Hamlets Council had attempted to get him sacked because they were upset about what he had written on his personal blog. It seems that the Council’s Communications chief was upset that Ted Jeory has posted on his Trial by Jeory blog about a headhunter’s report into the appointment of the Council’s chief executive.
This case highlights the fact that many press officers in public sector bodies concentrate their efforts on traditional media and are often dismissive of bloggers. In this day and age I think that this is a very dangerous and short sighted attitude.
With newspaper circulations continuing to decline, it’s clear that many people are getting information about what’s happening in their local community from online sources, including blogs. It’s also worth remembering that many journalists are also bloggers and that newspapers such as The Guardian have dedicated blogging sections on their websites.
The fact that the main media contact directories now include bloggers on their databases shows how important it is that press officers don’t just monitor bloggers but also engage with them. Indeed, some media service companies have published helpful guides on how to work positively and proactively with bloggers.