The Yahoo! account team over at public relations firm Fleishman Hillard brings us a great example of the impact blogs can have on analyst relations. And since I am no longer at an agency, I have no problems submitting it up for your review.
In the past, Yahoo! would have known Google had plans for this service, but could they confirm WHEN an announcement was being made and be able to respond quickly?
Yahoo! made their response a relevant part of Google's announcement. Then Yahoo! took things one step further. When briefing Charlene Li on their offering, they embargoed her on announcing specifics, but they encouraged her to blog that an announcement is forthcoming.
Yahoo! managed to supplant the Google buzz using three posts on one blog. Before blogs, you hoped you were first to market. Thanks to their immediacy, this example shows us that sometimes you can afford to be second in a three-engine race.
But keep in mind, in addition to quick thinking on Yahoo!'s part, a strong relationship with a wired analyst was required to pull this off. So while we get all starry-eyed over the technology, remember that PR basics still apply.