There's a whole bunch of bloggers, some whom I respect closely who are talking about Public Relation vs. Blogger Relations. For example, this contribution from my friend and client, Tara. It seems to me that we have too many situations with a "vs." in it. It also seems to me that people frequently confuse Public Relations with Media Relations.
Before I became a recovering publicist, I used to put my clients through a positioning exercise. I would draw a big circle on a whiteboard a label it "Sphere's of Influence," which we then divided into pie slices that invariably were labeled: "trade press," business press," "analysts" "large customers" "partners" and so on. The central idea was that each of these influenced each other and each needed to be approached in a logical sequence and in different ways, with varied messages that ultimately needed to stitch together. Even back then, I was passionate that they key to PR success was to generate word of mouth that got other people to say your company, products and services were valuable, reliable, important or all of the above.
These days everyone considers "PR" a dirty two letter word. I don't. I think it has a tainted image that goes beyond the tainting it legitimately deserves, and the way to repair the taint is to restore credibility in the word of mouth food chain.
Blogging is a new and imperitive component of that word of mouth food chain. It is now a significant chunk of the pie called "Spheres of Influence." It is a force that professional communicators must reckon with if they are to build awareness, enthusiasm and understanding for company attributes.
But blogging is just a piece of a slice of an existing pie. It will do bloggers well to think more about how we fit in than how we differ what already exists.