Thursday, May 10, 2007

The feeling is mutual...funds...Just finished double-teaming the Communications Committee of the Investment Company Institute at a breakfast at ICI's General Membership Meeting conference in Washington this morning. ICI is the industry trade association representing mutual fund companies.

Matt Schifrin
I presented a cautionary take on blogs for corporate communications professionals in the group, and Matt Schifrin, personal finance editor of Forbes.com speaking about how Forbes has integrated blogs of responsible commentators into its coverage.

The key word here is "responsible." Athough Matt argued that the blogosphere is very important to Forbes, he also noted that they have evaluated blog commentators and only post content from those they deem reliable or responsible.

Matt noted that Forbes editors still review the blog postings and edit/fact-check as needed.

I said to him afterwards that this approach is really just putting the traditional PR-journalist relationship into a new vocabulary. The bloggers Matt is using on Forbes.com are the same people to whom Forbes has always turned, reputable equity analysts and mutual fund commentators, who now don't have to mail out their opinions or put them on a fax machine. What they really have is the benefit of the blogosphere as a distribution mechanism to more efficiently get Forbes the content we PR people used to contribute via hard copy delivered by fax, messenger, overnight services, etc. Now, they sit at their computers and the content comes to them.

So call it embracing the bloggers, or bringing social media into the conversation, or whatever. What's most important is that Forbes brings its own reliable, trusted brand and disciplined approach to journalism to the content screening process, which is what is lacking in much of the blog-bloviation that's going on out there.

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