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The Disney Blog profiled in book – The New Influencers

The San Jose Mercury News has a review up (use bugmenot if needed) on Paul Gillin’s book "The New Influencers: A Marketer’s Guide to the New Social Media." I was interviewed for the book some months ago and found the author to be quite knowledgeable and ahead of the curve when talking about blogging. I have not yet read the whole book, but was allowed to see a draft of the chapter The Disney Blog appears in. If you’re interested in blogging and how it’s changing the face of marketing, then you should get your hands on Gillin’s book.

The author of the Mercury News article, Dean Takahashi, writes:

To influence the influencers, companies need to have two-way conversations with bloggers, whom Gillin terms "enthusiasts." Disney courts John Frost, author of the DisneyBlog, for instance, because it knows that his posts can inspire stories on mainstream TV shows and in news publications.

Such "conversation marketing" requires a completely different set of skills than those that marketers typically use.

Oh, I wish it were so. I know I don’t talk about the back of shop matters very much here, but I am rarely courted by Disney. It’s almost always through a third party Public Relations firm. When I am courted by Disney it almost always has to do with a new DVD release or first run movie. I am thankful for all those contacts as it often points out something I might have missed.

Disney’s theme parks have a decidedly hands off approach to bloggers. I’ve been told it is at least in part because the larger media units have told Disney that they will reduce coverage if Disney let’s the blogs in. (I understand that MSM pressures many organizations that way.) But I’ve also heard that it’s just a matter of numbers. There are a good 15-20 Disney websites and blogs out there with monthly readership approaching magazine size (over 100,000 unique visitors). So if they let one in, they have to let them all in (or at least have a set of firm criteria as to what qualifies).

To some extent I understand that. But I still think Disney (especially the theme parks) could work on their blogger relations. Invitation to press events would be a good start, advanced warning or access to some early details on what’s coming down the pike would be another. In the meantime, I will continue covering all aspects of the Walt Disney Company, its history, its fans, and more, because it’s what I love to do.

Anyway, enough dreaming. My large thanks to Paul for including The Disney Blog as one of the examples in the book.

Btw, The Disney Blog was recently profiled in Citizen Marketers: When People Are the Message by Ben McConnell as well. So send them both some love.