With the explosive growth in the Web log (“blog”) phenomenon, journalists have had to re-think how they do what they do. And that’s the case for public relations people, too.

Some say bloggers get their impetus for their blogs from following the national news media on a daily basis, relying on traditional media for “news” and then playing off those reports with analysis and opinion treatment in their blogs. Other observers say the pendulum has swung the other way, the traditional journalists now scouring the blogosphere daily for news leads.

 A recent Cornell University study, as reported in the New York Times and in Public Relations Tactics, sought to pin down the “directional arrow,” applying statistical analysis to a search engine harvest of news items from the last three months of the 2008 Presidential election reportage.

 Some of their findings:

 • Traditional news outlets usually report stories first, typically 2.5 hours ahead of the bloggers.

 • 3.5 percent of storylines originated in blogs and later migrated to traditional news media.

 • Some blogs are fastest out of the chute with original news, e.g. Hot Air and Talking Points Memo.

 According to the article in Public Relations Tactics, Sreenath Sreenivasan, professor new media at Columbia Journalism School, sees the directional flow quickly reversing: nearly a year after that election, “the dynamics of the news cycle are very different because of Twitter.”

 Note: If you’re a Twitter maven, and you have not already done so, you’ll want to follow a couple of the leaders in this field: Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder and chairman (@jack) and Jeff Keni Pulver (@jeffpulver)



Pete Cronk, Managing Partner