Bloggers, also called citizen journalists, emerged on the media scene suddenly and created more competition between the two outlets. Unlike journalists, bloggers can say what they feel whether they are wrong or not. They even break the stories first. Some may think this is unfair!
Heyl believes they are more similar than not. They both work hard to gain credibility. Bloggers are not handed an audience in a pretty gift-wrapped package. Both incur expenses in time, effort and money to get the story.
The key for all journalists is gaining authority and this can be achieved through brand image. The public will believe you if they know you have a good media reputation. People find content through sources they trust, whether it is through online news sources, blogs or peers.
Social networking sites also create communities of trust. Heyl found in the research report "Engaging Advocates through Search and Social Media," released in December 2006, that not only is social networking an influence on market growth, but particularly vocal individuals are having more of an effect than ever.
To help build a bridge in media, Heyl made the following suggestions:
- Use social media press releases: gives the audience information in small bites and relays information in an organized manner.
- Integrate a RSS feed in your releases to attract more readers.
- Use social bookmarking , technorati tags and trackback.
- Allow people to give feedback because it may actually allow the company to shine.