Courting Bloggers & Podcasters for launches

Recently I commented on how delighted I was to see Belgium broadcaster VRT inviting bloggers to its press launch of their ‘extended reality experience’ of Emma. I’ve also whinged in the past about how Australian bloggers & podcasters are not courted. Well, Kris Hoet gave me a heads up on an article in The Wall Street Journal on the way broadcasters are courting bloggers:

Networks see their “blog outreach” simply as smart PR strategy. “The goal is to go beyond the filter of the TV critic and mainstream media to create a direct connection with potential viewers,” says Chris Ender, senior vice president of communications at CBS, speaking of the “Old Christine” junket. Other network PR experts say blogs are important because they often serve as idea farms for professional reporters.

Giving away DVDs is a cheap way to curry favor, but some networks are courting bloggers with Hollywood’s true currency: access. Fox News Channel says it recently thought about trying to flatter a New York Times writer with an invitation to an industry dinner hosted by President Bush. Instead, Fox says it sent invites to several New York media blogs — outlets it considered to be of more strategic importance. [source]

I’m pleased to see this but, the tactics seem more about manipulation. How can you invite a blogger & podcaster (or indeed any reviewer) and show them you are proud of your product? Hmmm….