Some 125 advocacy, PR, trade association and government affairs types packed into the hall of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in D.C. yesterday for Blogging 101 for K Street. Impressive turnout! I shared a panel with Ken Deutsch, executive VP of Issue Dynamics, Inc. and Pat Cleary, senior VP, communications and chief blogger for the National Association of Manufacturers. Henry Copeland of Blogads (I love the way Henry talks; definitely the visionary type) and Peter Hirshberg of Technorati also presented, among others. A few highlights from our panel:

Blogger Relations

Ken recently launched a Blogger Relations practice for IDI. BR, as it’s called, means monitoring the blogosphere both proactively and reactively to see what’s being said about your company, brand or issue. Here are two of his hands-on tips:

1. When you’re searching on, enter the complete URL for a particular blog entry (i.e. the permalink) to determine how many other bloggers are linking to it. Remember that “who” is as important as how many. One link from an influential A-list blogger can create a lot of buzz.

2. Set up an RSS feed (i.e. a news alert) on a search term or keyword phrase you want to monitor, such as your company name or political issue. That way you’ll get an automatic alert (via your RSS newsreader) when searches are made on those keywords. This is one quick way to monitor the buzz around your brand or advocacy campaign. (Note to Ken: can you do this through Technorati’s Watchlist? Let us know.)

Writing a Daily Business Blog

From Pat, who single-handedly pens the informative and snappy NAM blog:

1. To keep up with his daily entries in NAM’s blog, he writes every night from 9 PM to midnight. Yes, he likes to write and yes, his wife is a saint.

2. He tries to keep his entries short but finds that a natural length for him is 500 words. Too long for a typical blog post, he told yesterday’s audience.

3. As to why he writes the blog himself without help from other staffers… “it’s easier to make sure the blog stays on NAM’s message and because I know where not to cross the line.”

4. Finally, although he hopes readers will come to the blog to read his trenchant observations about policies affecting U.S. manufacturers, Pat said he gets the most reponse from his Friday Follies, a weekly feature about weird and pointless stuff he finds on the Net.

Pat, we sympathize. Isn’t it always like that? You sweat bullets over the serious stuff. What people love is the silly stuff.

P.S. Read Pat Cleary’s write up of the conference here.