Some are taking them (bloggers) as seriously as the work of journalists. For example, Marriott International began an ambitious program to reach bloggers this spring. Its efforts included asking bloggers to speak to its corporate communications team, inviting them on press trips and offering them news in advance of print media.
“A lot of business travelers are getting their information from blogs,” said John Wolf, a Marriott spokesman. “We wanted to have a better understanding of blogs.”
To do that, Marriott assigned an employee to monitor the blogosphere and generate daily reports on what bloggers were writing about the company. It also began pitching bloggers on Marriott-themed postings, recently offering bloggers an exclusive about a plan to put airline check-in stations in its lobbies. “The news got out there within minutes,” Mr. Wolf said.
One blogger on the receiving end of Marriott’s pitch was Gary Leff, the chief financial officer of a university research center in Washington. He publishes View From the Wing (http://view.flyertalk.com).
“The fact that companies are pitching me, as a blogger, is an acknowledgment that blogs are influencing people,” he said. But until recently, the only evidence that Mr. Leff had any weight to throw around was that some of the special mileage offers he linked to were modified or removed after he posted them on his blog. Marriott’s initiative appears to reflect a change in the balance of power.
Robert Safuto, an energy market consultant from Weehawken, N.J., writes a blog, Red Room Chronicles (redroomchronicles.com), which focuses on Marriott, says the message the hotel chain is sending to bloggers is clear: “They’re saying, ‘We’re paying attention to you.’ ”
Une autre entreprise qui a vu la lumière des médias sociaux et qui se préoccupe de l'influence qu'ont les blogues sur leurs relations publiques.