But with change comes controversy, and bloggers have faced a lot of criticism over their journalistic credibility. However, companies need to realize that just because bloggers aren't journalists in the traditional sense, that doesn't mean they can be treated as less worthy or less important.
Case in point: on Friday the Internet was buzzing over a blogger who was insulted by the VP of a PR firm. I won't get into the specifics, but it started when a VP accidentally clicked "reply all" to an email about the blogger, who had refused to review a product the brand represented. In the email, he referred to her by a less-than-flattering term (to say the least).
However, as with every juicy PR blunder, the story doesn't end there. After being called out by the insulted blogger, the VP replied that the blogger should just feel lucky that she was pitched at all.
From a PR perspective, that is more damaging than the name-calling. Sure, there may have been a time when the PR firms had the leverage, but the blogger community has evolved and PR needs to reflect that. The journalist/blogger paradigm is outdated, and we can't continue to just look at bloggers through the journalistic lens.
Bloggers don't serve the same purpose as traditional journalists...and that's okay! Bloggers and journalists are two separate entities, which require two separate strategies when approaching them. More importantly, we need to keep in mind that, while different, they are equally important and need to be treated as such.