Are you a reader who hates blog posts that are longer than a one-screen read?
Or maybe you are a blogger who hates to not be the first to post some news item you think is big?
Lucky for me, I’m neither.
First, according to Moonwatcher, at least one large “collaborative, inter-enterprise business solutions” company called SAP knows what to do with bloggers:
This morning I received the email invitation from SAP to register for SAPPHIRE Vienna, which I’ll be attending next month as part of the company’s Bloggers’ Corner program. I immediately noticed several changes to the registration process from last year’s SAPPHIRE event, again showing that SAP is serious about reaching out to bloggers.
Instead of treating me as a member of the press, SAP has specifically invited me to cover their event as a blogger. The fact that this distinction has been formalized into a Process at SAP is extraordinary, as is the fact that there is an SAP executive (Mike Prosceno) whose title is VP, Marketplace Communications (Blogger Relations).
Moonwatcher author, Charlie Wood, discusses several reasons as to why SAP’s actions mean something. One that standouts to me:
First, that program [SAP’s] has executive sponsorship. Other companies like salesforce.com have invited bloggers to their events as a result of grass-roots efforts inside their organizations, but SAP’s program is supported from the top down.
And, the other standout reason, particularly applicable to political bloggers as we seek access to more and more places where traditional media go, or won’t go, is this:
Is it noteworthy that SAP recognizes bloggers as a distinct communications channel and goes to so much effort to include them? Absolutely. It’s clear that bloggers are different than press and analysts—ask any analyst or member of the press. And that difference provides an opportunity for companies to uniquely leverage the blogger dynamic. SAP is actively doing just that by not only including bloggers in their PR efforts but also actively observing the dynamic that emerges at these events and adapting to it.
For instance, last year in Atlanta it became clear that the bloggers in attendance preferred to have group discussions with SAP executives instead of the one-on-ones preferred by the press and analysts. The bloggers weren’t looking for a “scoop”—we were looking for insight. Schedules were rearranged at the last minute and we had the group discussions we were looking for. This year group discussions are the default.
Hello? Meet the Bloggers? Making MTB sessions default settings for all candidates for elected offices?
I’ll repeat it: The bloggers weren’t looking for a “scoop”—we were looking for insight.
So, so, so, so true. Not of all bloggers of course, but I know it’s how I approach what I write.
Finally, although Wood says we shouldn’t be worried about payola, it doesn’t feel quite right to me, but I’ve never had the pleasure of being in such a situation:
SAP pays all travel expenses for the bloggers attending its events—including in my case transatlantic airfare. Contrast that with salesforce.com, who invited me not only to cover their Dreamforce show as a blogger but also to speak as a technology partner and didn’t cover any of my expenses. SAP has recognized that unlike members of the press, the bloggers covering their events aren’t paid to blog and don’t have a media company paying their expenses, and have stepped in to take up the slack. This is a big deal. And lest you think that it’s some sort of payola scheme, just read Vinnie Mirchandani‘s SAPPHIRE coverage from last year. SAP isn’t buying itself any kind of favorable treatment.
Anyone want to triangulate me on this issue, just to test my ethics? I’ve always wanted to go to the Galapagos…but I really need to get back to Israel…