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At CES as a Reporter (OK, a Blogger)

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This is the year that CES has fully opened the door for bloggers to apply, and then worked with the Blog Business Summit people to “vet” the bloggers to make sure that they had not just started a blog a couple days prior to get a blogger pass.

Yes, there is that issue – and one that tradeshow organizers need to seriously address – and CES has been smart about it; except a complaint from the PR person side – unless you know the bloggers (and, it’s my job) – it was hard to know who was and was not a blogger.

But, it is still the embracing of the citizen journalist, new media journalist, social media – whatever name you want it, it is exploding. For work – disclosure, I work – I was reaching out to bloggers that I think would care to come to a lunch, and that it was, yes, bloggable and podcastable.

As Andy Abramson noted in a post today, it is to the old school PR people’s detriment that they ignore bloggers and social media. And, well, I deal with those people everyday that tell me they don’t need me to be involved.

Well, lady, you do. Because you don’t get it and it’s hurting you.

But, I am attending as a blogger. I got my press pass, I am all ready to go. In the past, there have always been the press-only events like Pepcom and http://www.lunchat.com/. I got my tickets for L@P, but Pepcom turned me down (I guess Jon Pepper got tired of the illegitimate son jokes), but I will probably still pop over to say hello, time permitting.

But, well, bloggers themselves are being courted, and I expect to see an explosion in this. This year, Podtech has its Bloghaus, and Blog Business Summit has its CES Blogger Reception at the Atomic Testing Museum – they are sponsored, but I would not surprised to see those sponsorships explode next year. I’ll give you the skinny on how they both were at CES, but it’ll be nice to see Teresa again at CES. :)

Last year, I went as a PR person – the red dead eye of CES is proof – but being on the press list unfortunately highlights that PR is not moving as fast as it needs to be. Who sends full press releases anymore to the media? Who sends attachments? Who sends long-winded pitches? Who doesn’t vet – yes, I know the list for CES is close to 3000 people, but not everyone is an appropriate contact.

Andy shot me off an email this morning and in it he noted that in his 30+ year career, he has “never seen a time where the winds of change are more evident than what we are seeing today as a result of the Internet and all the new ‘social’ media tools and methods of distribution that are upon us.”

Media and PR are changing. There are blogs, vidcasts, podcasts, wikis that drive news just as much as react to news. People don’t realize where they are getting their news – nor, sometimes, do they care – but the explosion of professional blogging changes the landscape where some can really no longer be thoughts of blogs (despite the comments and trackback capabilities). GigaOm? More a burgeoning publishing house. Gawker and Weblogs, Inc are already there.

Now, PR needs to change to keep up. I get to get a more interesting view because while I am a new media person, I am still an old media person. I cannot go without my morning newspaper for the bus, I watch a lot of TV (while on my computer and listening to my iPod) and multitask like a 15-year old. Why? Because that’s how I am used to doing things.

But, the reality is that the old media, mainstream media, still has influence and stories that will not be covered in a blog, and social media is bringing new eyes on events and news that was missing. And, CES is the best case of convergence – bloggers getting press passes, media writing stories, the smaller stories getting pickup because it catches some blogger’s or podcaster’s eye for news. CES will be fun (despite the fact that I don’t like Vegas or smoke and I like craps too much), but more fun from a societal perspective, watching how this might be a bellwether on the way news is seminated on large events.

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Jeremy Pepper is the CEO and founder of POP! Public Relations, a public relations firm based in Arizona, USA.

He authors the popular Musings from POP! Public Relations blog which offers Jeremy’s opinions and views – on public relations, publicity and other things.

At CES as a Reporter (OK, a Blogger)
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