Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

The King of Beer (blogs)

Posted on | April 24, 2008 | No Comments

We’ve talked here and elsewhere about the “company is the medium is the message” (channeling Marshall McLuhan). Companies have an opportunity (actually an obligation) to leverage the Internet to become their own publishers or networks, to talk directly to their audiences. Nowhere is this more perfectly illustrated than in the beer kingdom, one of happiest places on Earth.
The Wall Street Journal reports today on the Brew Blog, run by James Arndorfer, which covers the barley and hops industry. The hitch is Brew Blog is not an independent blog; it’s run by Miller Brewing Co., and it frequently covers its rival, Anheuser-Busch, the maker of the so-called King of Beers, Budweiser (not to be confused with the outstanding Czechoslovakian pilsner of similar name).
Arndorfer, a former Ad Age reporter, breaks news all the time, forcing trade and mainstream publications to chase him. (Lucky bugger has one of the best jobs in the world, IMHO). He ticks off Anheuser-Busch in the process, but that’s the hallmark of a good reporter. Even so, a PR rep for A-B pitched Brew Blog a story tied to Budweiser Super Bowl ads.
Paul Pendergrass and Pete Marino, communications consultants for Miller, came up with idea and recruited Arndorfer in 2006.

“They are trying to aggressively go around the gatekeepers” in newsrooms and the trade press, says Stephen Quigley, an associate professor of public relations at Boston University. “It’s something you couldn’t do five years ago,” before the proliferation of blogs.

It’s a simple concept that more companies are starting to embrace.
It’s more effective that an CEO blog because, frankly, most of those are stillborn without an executive who’s passionate and engaged in the medium.
And, as Miller proves, if you do it right, you end up on the front page of The Wall Street Journal and very high in today’s Google search rankings, a PR coup.

Memo to Anheuser-Busch: I blog. I have 24 years of journalism experience. I like beer. I grow my own hops, and I brew beer. You know where to find me.

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No Responses to “The King of Beer (blogs)”

  1. Lou Covey
    April 24th, 2008 @ 3:40 pm

    Brian, If you like beer, then why would you want to work for A-B? Hit up Sierra Nevada.

  2. Greeley's Ghost
    April 24th, 2008 @ 5:18 pm

    I happen to love Sierra Nevada, and I will definitely check out that angle!

  3. Loring Wirbel
    April 25th, 2008 @ 8:14 am

    So do you grow hops out in the backyard? Requires wet conditions, right? Is it true that hops-growers sit around at hops-sniffing parties, sniffing their favorite flowers as though they were sensimilla?

  4. Greeley's Ghost
    April 25th, 2008 @ 10:41 am

    Loring, that’s a great comparison! Hops are one of nature’s finest aromas. Some people make hop pillows to sleep on because there are supposed to be soothing properties imparted by the scent.
    Suddenly, I’m thirsty.

  5. wretch
    April 28th, 2008 @ 3:03 pm

    Just planted some hops — first time. Online advice sez mulch, compost, check pH, play the vine music — and none of that recorded shit — live music. The guy who handed the plant to me said “stick it in the ground anywhere and it will grow like crazy.”

    Plus, Little Bro just got a job at a local brewpub; the owner pledges to give hops and malt to any employee who wants to make his or her own beer.

    I don’t know how Little Bro likes his job, but I’m liking his job just fine.

  6. Anonymous
    July 17th, 2008 @ 10:25 pm

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