No, this entry isn’t about blogs. If you want to hear how blogs are transforming PR, I suggest you visit Micro Persuasion.
Via Dave Taylor, I just found out about PRLeads, a service that lets you field requests for information from journalists. When you see a request about a topic on which you consider yourself an ‘expert’, you can correspond with the journalist. You provide information and context to the journalist and if things work out, you get publicity and gain authority by being quoted in a story.
I asked a friend who has worked in PR for a long time and this service is rather revolutionary. Ten years ago, the journalist would have looked to friends or in-shop files for an expert, but now they have access to everyone who knows about the service and is willing to pay the fee ($99/month–hardly backbreaking).
This is good for everyone. Journalists get access to experts who they might not find otherwise as well as the chance to write a more correct story (due to the fact that they’ll be exposed to more viewpoints). Experts get a chance to shape public opinion as well as publicity. And the public is exposed to a wider range of views than they’d otherwise see. Win-win-win.
PRLeads is a perfect example of an internet company, by the way. It has network effects–journalists will go where the most experts are, and experts will go where the most journalists are. It’s a service that just couldn’t be efficiently run without the internet. And the main commodity is information.
Update: Here’s a blog entry about results from PRLeads.com.