Almost all discussions about blogs in the context of professional communications make reference to the contrast between their open, transparent, personal tone compared to the supposedly more tight-arsed personality of the average corporate press release. The implication is that firms need to adapt, to become more loose-arsed, if they want to thrive in the new environment.
There's some truth in this, but a post by Scott Esposito last week reminded me that the inexpressive nature of corporate PR has been a reflection of what Ben Yagoda has called the 'middle-style' of traditional journalism, where words are assembled efficiently into a conduit for facts. It also prompted me to recall that one of the principal reasons I steered clear of a career in journalism was the fear of being trained out of the writing style I felt most comfortable with.
While many bloggers clearly aspire to be citizen journalists, the medium they operate in certainly encourages a more essay-like style, where the language and nuanced emotion are more often regarded as more important than a strict adherence to the facts.
Bloggers take much greater care about HOW they say things than reporters. So while the press release is targeted at a generic style, an equivalent for the blogging world may have to be flexible enough to adopt any number of different stylised idioms - which essentially means that the new medium favours genuine verbal craftspeople over the semi-skilled technicians of factory-line PR.