After a rather interesting exchange with Martin McKeay on the subject of NDAs and blogging, we tweeted some more on the subject. While I agree with Martin that bloggers and PR folks need to be educated on communicating with one another, I don't necessarily think it's the role of PR folks to be the educators of bloggers.

The problem with that, of course, is where can bloggers go to educate themselves? In that respect, Martin's got a point - there's really no place for bloggers to "go" to learn the ins and outs of dealing with PR folks. Now it's not necessarily true that the press learns these things in college as part of a journalism degree. My B.S. and M.S. are in computer science, not journalism, even though I spent a good many years in the press as a "reporter" who was expected to know those rules. The school of hard knocks is sometimes the best place to learn, and that's where most of the Technology Editors at Network Computing Magazine learned the trade.

But we had mentors - other Technology Editors - who knew the ropes and could help us out and give us advice if we needed it. We had time and support. The blogosphere and its relationship with PR has changed so quickly that bloggers don't necessarily have the time to "get schooled" on how to deal with PR, and they certainly don't have mentors out there because they are, even now, building the foundations of this new media. They need somewhere, and someone, to give them a crash course on the basics. As I've been so forceful in stating that bloggers need to take that crash course, it only seems fair to give them a place to get started. Hence this series of blog posts.

Hopefully it's useful to burgeoning bloggers who are interested in taking on more of a journalistic type role in the blogosphere and want to understand how to deal with PR and vendors in general.

PR folks, feel free to send your suggestions and comments for communicating with you and the companies you represent. Bloggers, if you have specific questions, send them over! We'll get them answered for you.

First up: Understanding Internal and External PR

Imbibing: Coffee