Do b2b bloggers believe blogs? PR insights on blogger skepticism

Authors: Gené van Heerden, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden, Esmail Salehi-Sangari, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden, Leyland Pitt, Simon Fraser University, Canada, Albert Caruana
University of Malta University of Lugano, Switzerland
Published: 2009, Asia Pacific Public Relations Journal, Volume 10
Abstract: Research and practice have given a lot of attention to blogs which illustrates that it is increasingly becoming an important PR tool. When blogs comment on the activities, products, services and technologies of organisations it becomes an important communications tool. Blogs can be used as credible professional communication but it can also be subject to the same type of skepticism that traditional mass media encounters. This article presents the responses of 333 international active bloggers in the business-to-business (B2B) environment. The responses to blogging ethics as well as their skepticism towards blogging are discussed. We adapted a skepticism scale initially used to measure skepticism towards advertising to reflect skepticism towards blogging. We then relate skepticism towards blogging with the blogger’s view on ethical issues. We also determine if skepticism varies among bloggers from different regions. The article concludes by identifying managerial implications and avenues for future research.

Keywords: Blogs, Public Relations, Business-to-Business, Skepticism