The Los Angeles Police Department’s recent decision to start a blog to rebut what it perceives as unfair coverage in newspapers is an interesting example of how blogs could be useful for press departments of companies that are used to being pilloried in the press.
While an estimated 75,000 new blogs are spawned a day, corporations and public organizations even newspapers have for the most part not yet figured out how to use the technology for their own purposes. Sponsored blogs have been used in ad campaigns, but the nature of the medium is so independent and casual that it is hard to make them stick to the company line. And when companies do try to make their blogs serve as a repositories for robotic press release jargon, there’s little reason for people to read them.
But a blog-as-rebuttal could be a good tool for companies in this age of lightning-fast accusation and scandal; a quick way to get the word out about unjust charges by gathering data and linking to contrary evidence. PR reps wouldn’t have to wait until the next news cycle to express outrage through the only-possibly-interested New York Times; they could parry blows as quickly as they arrive.