A Wall Street Journal story on 4/24 reported that a Miller Brewing sponsored blog, Brew Blog, broke the news that Anheuser-Busch was getting ready to launch a new beer called Budweiser American Ale. The trade publications and St. Louis’ major newspaper had been scooped.
The blog was started at the behest of Miller’s communications consultants “who wanted the brewer to have more influence over what’s covered in the industry.” They recruited a former reporter to do the writing. This is essentially a good ol’ public relations strategy. The blog reportedly reached 12,000 individual visitors in the month ending April 10 – most of them beer-industry professionals.
A couple of lines in the story really intrigued me – “They [Brew Blog] are trying to aggressively go around the gatekeepers in newsrooms and the trade press…It’s something you couldn’t do five years ago before the proliferation of blogs.”
Instead of influencing media using traditional PR tactics, the Brew Blog influences media by “out-reporting” them. Then, the traditional media plays catch up to chase the scoop.
Makes me wonder what other traditional marketing strategies could be turned on their heads. Your thoughts?