Essential reading for politicos
Friday, January 20th, 2006
Don’t miss Daniel Glover’s great article in the latest National Journal about blogs and politics. He slices, dices and interrogates the subject at every angle. In five words: blogs are big and getting bigger. Here’s a bootleg version.
Interesting nuggets I gleaned from the article:
In a February 2004 study, George Washington University’s Institute for Politics, Democracy, and the Internet found that 69 percent of blog readers are “influentials, or opinion leaders and trendsetters with their friends and neighbors.” Institute Director Carol Darr said in a recent interview that the news and political junkies who frequent blogs are like “honeybees, kind of feeding the culture” with the information they gather and with their comments and diaries at the sites.
(That compares with 50% of NYTimes.com readers and 35% of WPost.com’s readers… or maybe I’ve got the numbers backwards. Cliff?) And another chunk:
Defenders of Wildlife used blog ads to promote PomboInTheirPocket, a Web site that tries to link Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., to land developers, oil companies, and lobbyists who want to amend the Endangered Species Act. The two-week ad buy ran mostly on California blogs, said Mark Longabaugh, the consultant who helped the group put it together. It included three “action items”: telling a friend about the site, e-mailing Pombo’s office, and making a contribution.
The ad raised about $50,000, Longabaugh said. “That would have more than covered the ad buy.” He added that it generated thousands of impressions more than Defenders of Wildlife could have expected from a television or newspaper ad — and it reached the right people. “The blogs tend to be where a lot of conversation is going on these days in terms of politics,” he said.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America was equally pleased with its blog ads to enhance awareness of the group’s BuySafeDrugs site. The ads were placed periodically on an array of blogs, generally for about a month at a time, according to Ken Johnson, PhRMA’s senior vice president of communications. “It’s an effective, cost-efficient way to reach select, targeted demographics,” he said. It also gives drugmakers direct access to patients without their message being filtered by the media. PhRMA plans to develop more ads this month focused on topical news events, Johnson said. And the group plans to have a blog of its own at some point. “We’re trying to make it where it’s not a dartboard,” he said. “It’s one thing to hear what other people have to say. It’s another to put a bull’s-eye on your forehead.”