A recent Guardian article notes the new PR trend of blog monitoring, where media companies search blogs for clients to find out how their brands are being talked about online. Large companies are beginning to realize that blogs are an important medium, and ignoring them can harm their brand's image. As the Executive Director of Public Affairs at Ford explains:
The real value of searching the net, including blogs, is that you get a live picture of what people are thinking about certain issues. It means that you can predict if there is going to be an issue that's going to grow and become something you need to respond to before it gets to the mainstream press.
Another important reason for companies to monitor blogs - people are more likely to trust the views expressed on a blog over a company site.