By Michael T. Schröder, IPREX Global President
In 2014 a group of nine European IPREX partners decided to study the impact of blogging on the communication industry and conducted an informal online survey among 1,360 bloggers, inviting two non-European countries to participate for comparison.
The second survey, in 2015/2016 had responses from 2,134 bloggers living in 13 countries, including China and Malaysia.
Here are some encouraging results showing bloggers’ attitudes to our industry:
- 73% of bloggers said they have been approached for PR or marketing reasons,
27% were contacted weekly and 19% daily. But there are major regional differences: in “advanced technology” countries, a much higher proportion of bloggers is targeted by companies.
- A majority (85%) of respondents thinks positively about approaches by companies and actually wish for more (52%). Only 7% are reserved about this contact and only 2% are against.
- Invitations to events, marketing or PR material and product samples or free products are the most commonplace approaches. Astonishingly, only 20% of bloggers received photos or other images from companies.
These are some more general findings about bloggers:
- Three quarters of all bloggers are female. Although teens do not dominate, two-thirds of the bloggers are younger than 35 years.
- The most popular blog themes are focused on consumer and lifestyle topics like beauty, fashion, food and travel. The main goals for blogging are sharing information and experiences, having fun and professional development.
- The highest rated social media channels for blog promotion are Facebook and Instagram.
The Blogbarometer showed that our industry could improve its relationship with this important media channel significantly using better research, more targeted approaches and more creative engagement.
Interestingly, the Blogbarometer exemplifies one important way in which IPREX has been evolving as an organisation: rather than being a global survey from which partners took sub-sets of data for their own use, it was designed primarily to boost partners’ profiles in their own markets – with the global view emerging from the sub-set of common questions.
This mirrors a shift in our perspective from a “top-down” managed network structure to a platform on which individual partners can operate worldwide. IPREX is inside the agency, rather than the other way around – making each IPREX partner a global agency.
The Blogbarometer worked so well on both levels, generating useful information and news in each partner’s market as well as for IPREX as a whole, that we will continue to run it in a two-year cycle.
IPREX was founded in 1983 to help independent PR firms deliver high-quality client work in major markets worldwide, and it has evolved into a tightly knit peer group of more than 70 of the world’s most successful communication agencies.
We offer our partners’ clients seamless world-class advice and implementation – and we provide partners with the infrastructure and support they need to win and manage such assignments.
Clients choose IPREX partners for their influence in their own markets and because our management systems make the diversity, innovation and dynamism of owner-managed agencies work to their advantage.
Partners join IPREX for the assurance of high-calibre work for their clients in remote markets, and to develop their agencies in a collegial environment through best practices, new business opportunities and a common program management language.
Partners communicate frequently, review each other’s work rigorously and meet often. When they join forces they’re working with agency owners they know as partners – not strangers united by a brand name and divided by internal competition.