London Bloggers Meet Up September

September’s London Bloggers Meet Up was sponsored by the wonderful Ebay.co.uk, recent sellers of Skype and bargain hunter’s online refuge.

Heat re-appeared and beer (kindly paid for by Ebay all night) was shared with conversation, as always, in full flow (hi Cate, Mike, Cristiano, Mel, Alex and Ant et al…)

I like Ebay, I use it a fair amount, and it’s great to see a huge company embracing engagment with the blogosphere in a positive way and what with the likes of Lastminute.com, Guinness, and of course Starbucks (yup, full disclosure, I am indeed a Starbucks guy) having sponsored the event, it shows how important the movement is proving to be for these brands.

I’ve mentioned before how odd it can be doing the PR and blogging thing, and how the balance can be tough to find, but it struck me last night how many of those in attendance juggle both, without detriment to either.

What would be great now, would be to see the brands who sponsor the meetups contribute with a next step by blogging themselves. It’s great that they want to take part, get involved in the community and add value to it – the next stage in the progresion is to become blogging entities themselves, whether it’s through a network, a shared blog or from comments of the CEO.

PRs are becoming bloggers and bloggers are becoming PRs, so why not have brands become bloggers too, if they’re increasingly being represented by people who are themselves blogging and understanding of the nuances of the community?

Lots do this already of course, in particular the more technology-oriented companies. What’s stopping those that aren’t?

Fear of the community and the way that the language will sit within it (don’t be scared, we don’t bite)

Time is of the essence, and who has time to put together 400 words once a week? (A lot of us with full time jobs, not to mention those who are parents, manage this just about)

Hesitance to be totally transparent (surely we should all be aiming for this anyway?)

Personalities within the company who are reluctant to use a new or untried channel of communication (there’s a few of us who blog y’know, it’s not a fad)

The first step towards ‘getting there’ is to get in and amongst bloggers, find out what makes them tick and then apply your business’ characteristics to give the writing a voice – readers and credibility will follow.

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