CNW Group PR Blog Ad Campaign: more disclosure and credit where due

I want to make sure that I give full credit to the prime mover behind this CNW Group advertising campaign – and also address a concern raised elsewhere.

First, let it be known that my good friend Robert Jenkyn of the outstanding media strategy firm Media Experts deserves full credit for the original idea to approach CNW Group with the concept of advertising on PR blogs. I've known Robert through our kids' schools, football teams, and play groups for something like six years now. I've always thought him one of the wittiest, smartest, most likeable people I've ever known - I now know that he's also extremely good at what he does. If your online media buying strategy is sucking wind, phone Media Experts and ask for Robert (well - when he comes back from holiday in France, anyway).

Second, a little further disclosure seems in order here. One of the other participants in the program, the inestimable David Jones, posted some interesting observations on CNW Group's approach, in his trademark thoughtful manner. Smart bloke, who takes the time to really think things through.

David's post attracted a comment from Judy Gombita (head of communications for the Certified General Accountants of Ontario, I believe), in which Judy questions the value and validity of one aspect of the program.

You can go read Judy's comment and my response over at David's blog. 'Nuff said. One of Judy's points, however, also made me think that perhaps a little extra disclosure might be of use. In responding to Judy's concern, I made the point that this ad campaign, for me, is certainly not about the money.

This is a test - for CNW Group and for the bloggers involved. As CNW's Laurie Smith has reminded me, all of the responses and reactions to this test are being looked on as part of a process of learning, to guide us in the future.

For what it's worth, and if you're really, really interested: I'm being paid $300/month to run this ad, for the next two months - plus I get access to clickthrough reports.

At that level, it should be abundantly clear that I ain't in this for the money, baby.

No - I'm doing it because (as I said at David's blog) I think CNW Group's efforts to engage people like me are interesting and worthwhile, and I'm curious to see how the campaign works for them.

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