Blogs as a Barometer of Public Opinion
Last week SEC Chairman Chris Cox again demonstrated his interest in blogs as he spoke about them at a conference. According to a Reuters report of the event, he lauded blogs as a source of information about “passion” and indicated that they “give you an early read on the … response you might expect.”
By using blogs as an early warning indicator — or a sort of focus group, if you will — the SEC Chairman demonstrates a keen understanding of one of the roles blogs can play not only for his agency, but for other organizations and companies across the board. Following blog conversations can provide great insight into how key stakeholders are responding to products and services, issues and policy, strategy and tactics.
Of course, one must always apply a little discretion in using blogs as a barometer of public opinion. The intensity of opinion at times accelerates into blogstorms that may not be quite as representative of the view of the public at large. And it is important to remember that bloggers represent a relatively narrow segment of the population that may be a better gauge of some topics than others.
Nevertheless PR practitioners and marketing pros would be wise to follow the SEC Chairman’s lead in incorporating blog analysis into their toolkit to help guide communications planning.
(Hat tip to Wall Street Folly for pointing out this story.)