Blogs are still a hugely important part of the communications landscape. Blogger outreach strategies are still important skills to develop as a PR or media professional, and can often yield even better results than some more traditional PR approaches. Many of the top blogs attraction millions and millions of readers per day, and many journalism school graduates are getting paid to blog rather than going to work for old school publications.
We all know these things to be true—so why are about half of the PR/social media oriented blogs in my reader barely or sporadically updated? We all know the blog isn’t dead, but is the PR blog? Or am I just still following people who have since moved on to other forms of communication?
As a merely sporadic blogger myself, I understand the draw—it’s easier to write short bursts to Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms rather than putting the time and energy into a blog post—and often you will reach a far wider audience with your message (depending on the relative popularity of your blog). Some days it just doesn’t feel worth it to sit down and craft a long, thoughtful piece for a blog when there are so many easier ways to speak.
That being said, blogging is still important, particularly if you’ve got a loyal audience eager for more. As such, I’ve pulled some great blog-centric posts for today’s edition of the Jots.
Cranking Out Content – Chris Brogan – No one can speak to the best ways to keep your blog fresh and updated than Chris. Perhaps the PR world’s most prolific blogger, Chris sometimes writes several times per day. No one should strive to keep up with him, but he offers some great tips for giving it a shot. “Write when you find time. I wrote 12 posts (several for other blogs besides my own) while flying out to Las Vegas from Boston. I did it because I had hours and hours of time on a plane, and I knew that I wouldn’t have a lot of free time in the coming days. The more chances I have to write something when I’ve got some down time, the more opportunities I have to keep a one-or-two a day schedule with my blogging.”
When to Cut – Valeria Maltoni – So, following Chris’ advice, you’ve got your terrific content. Should you post it all? Are there things you may be better off leaving out? Everyone talks about bloggers lacking editors, but Valeria knows that being one’s own editor can still be effective in putting out fires before they start. “While I believe in transparency and authenticity, I also believe strongly in responsible choices. To me that means making fewer assumptions and doing more research and homework up front. What I may lose in traffic and number of comments, I gain in self-respect, which is an important metric for me. To me the maturity of online communications means also shifting to making more editorial choices that are the result of declaring and living out values.”
Home Depot Gets it Right – Todd Defren – I love reading about social media campaigns that work, and truly (to use a phrase I normally cringe at) “get it.” With the roll out of Home Depot’s do-it-yourself online community, everyone’s favorite home store gets it just right. Todd explains why he loves this campaign and thinks the Old Spice campaign didn’t work in comparison. “Now – think back to the Old Spice campaign. Remember how psyched we all got, when the sexy spokesman responded via video directly to our tweets … and subsequently disappeared from the scene forever? Think about how much harder – but more relevant and helpful – is Home Depot’s approach than Old Spice.”
CSR vs Cause Marketing – Kami Huyse and Beth Kanter – Cause marketing is something that has, in the past, stuck in my craw, particularly as Breast Cancer Awareness Month (and its ubiquitous pink product placement) draws to a close. In their interesting study as a part of a Society for New Communications Research submission, Kami and Beth study the blurring lines between actual corporate social responsibility (foundations, etc.), and cause marketing (buy this, give to that). “The grand debate over CSR vs. cause marketing seems to be getting more blurry. So much so that the two are often confused and interchanged by those not deeply in the community, and most certainly by public relations departments and marketing. Could it be that it is not a question of either-or, but rather a question of a continuum? “