We are asked many interesting questions here at PRNewser. Some of the questions are serious queries into the progression of our craft. Other thoughts come from those who read “Anonymous Tips” as “Confusing Jokes”. They are all okay with us.
One question I get quite a bit concerns breaking into blogging.
While it’s not a mystery, the act of blogging requires several things that most PR professionals already have at their disposal but may not be using correctly. You know, like the ability to write a diagrammed sentence. It’s no one’s fault, really, but it got me thinking about another ‘5 Things.’
So, here are the 5 things PR pros should know about blogging.
1. Consume then produce. It is appalling how many PR peeps do not watch/read the news. How in the world can you be an asset to your agency or your clients if you don’t care about the news? “Well, it’s always sad.” OK, but if you want all happy, all the time, Disneyland is hiring ticket attendants. “I just don’t follow the current events.” True, they can be a little dense–but you need to follow them anyway. And if you are responsible for blogging, you have to have all that stuff in your noggin before you put your dexterity to use at the keyboard.
2. Stick to what you know. If you want to write a blog about sharing recipes, then become Betty Crocker, Aunt Jemina, or Uncle Ben. If you want to write about PR, then you have to look for a public relations hook in every story. From entertainment to current events, what is the perception angle? Where’s the #PRFail? How will this help or hurt a brand? If your agency has a specialty, stay on focus. If your client is in technology, they are not looking for you to ghostblog about what you saw on the latest episode of “The Bachelor.” (And if you are watching that, you should probably be reading a book instead.)
3. Understand your audience. Blogs are not magazines. The faster you realize that bit of information, the better you will be. Magazines are one-way communications. With blogs, people can (but don’t always do) talk back. People that read blogs want one of two things: A forum that gives fact and opinion in an abbreviated form or a place where they spout whatever the hell they want to whomever is responsible for approving comments. What does your particular audience want to read. And more importantly, why do they care? Your audience gets invested in what you write because you are discussing something they already want to read. Make it a journey, not your statement.
4. Love to write. Blogging is no longer just a thing or a simple hobby. It is a way of life for many people, present company included. If you have a passion to write, you will do it well. If you don’t want to commit the time to do this effectively, don’t even start. Nothing is worse for a client’s blog than to start and then just quit. Understand headlines are more than 12 words to being an article. They are advertisements for the post, and if your headline sucks, your traffic will as well. You must have an appetite for what you write or no one else will devour what you type. It shows in your writing. And then in the traffic it picks up.
5. Know Thyself. Are you able to write with soul, introspection, wit, and a skosh bit of authority? If so, you already have a “one up” on many bloggers. Tumblr has more than 169 million blogs that are operational. That’s quite a bit of people who not only think what they have to say is interesting, but also hope someone agrees with them. If you have something to say, that’s good. If you can communicate what you think well, that’s even better. If you’re writing for vanity alone, then you might want to keep it personal. Blogging can be much more than that. The best thing about it is that you can write the definition yourself.