“Blogs and participatory journalism are impacting the practice of public relations.” That line was taken from one of my favorite blogs and I couldn’t agree more.
Have blogs been effective in providing your business PR? Please provide your comments, experiences, and tips to help others in utilizing blogs to gain business. We’ve started a thread in the eBusiness forum WebProWorld to discuss this topic. Click below to provide your insight:
The blog I’m referring to is called Micro Persuasion and is written by Steve Rubel, a self styled public relations guru. Today’s article will help you get started using blogs as your leap pad to more effective PR.
The key to making a blog work for you as a business owner or manager is focusing on a topic that relates to your work and expertise. For instance, Steve Rubel’s day job is VP of Client Services at a PR firm. His blog highlights his knowledge and expertise about public relations thus making him more valuable to his firm… even though he is not directly writing on behalf of his firm. It is very important to maintain objectivity in the blogosphere. If it is obvious PR it is BAD PR!
Making Yourself an Expert
There are many ways to do a successful blog. What it really comes down to is offering readers a unique perspective and commentary, providing links to unique resources and news and updating daily or close to it.
Add your own spin and commentary … it doesn’t have to be long, just interesting. A good example of a more news-oriented blog with good spin is Adrants. About half their posts summarize “real news” in the mainstream press, but with a sardonic insider feel.
It is essential that your blog bring the reader more than just facts and links. Remember, the value-add for the reader is your analysis. If you can relate some personal experiences along the way, all the better. John Battelle’s Searchblog does this well, he provides his analysis of search, media and technology news in a way that feels very insider. Mike Manuel who writes a blog called Media Guerrilla is skilled at relating personal experiences. To keep readers coming back, connecting with the reader is very important.
Writing a blog is one way to establish yourself as a “thought leader“. A blog will help you become thought of as an expert in your field.
How Visitors Find You
Plan on linking to a lot of other blogs and news sites. Your links to them will in time foster an environment that encourages them to link to you. That’s how it works in the blog eat blog world. If you see a link to a news story in another blog, link and reference that blog along with your link to the article. Never ask for a link, just know that those who give will receive.
You should also submit your new blog to all of the blog search engines. Engines such as Daypop and Technorati crawl blogs with incredible speed, often spidering for new info hourly. More content will also make you more noticeable in these search engines.
Maintain a prominent “blog roll” of your favorite blogs. This is common with most blogs and fosters good will with other blogs. Neville Hobson’s blog called NevOn does a good job with his blog roll in the left column.
Offer an RSS/XML syndication feed of your blog. Then submit this feed to all of the feed syndication directories and search engines such as Syndic8, Feedster or check out RSSTop55 for an extensive list.
Why Blog For PR?
According to a report at the Web 2.0 conference there are now over “4.1 million blogs around the world with a new blog created every 7.4 seconds”. However, there are only about 5000 company blogs. That leaves a lot of room for you to stake your niche and gain valuable exposure.
An article in BusinessWeek highlighting blogs new importance to companies states, “Blogs or websites with content management systems are changing the model for companies, we really now have to engage customers on a one on one level”. With Microsoft leading the way, corporations have accepted blogging as an integral part of public relations. Companies now recognize the need to talk to their clients and potential clients in a more intelligent and unbiased way.
Business blog expert Wayne Hurlbert sums up the reason to blog for PR, “A rapidly growing number of journalists and editors are reading blogs on a daily basis. It’s becoming imperative that a company start a blog to keep up with that trend”.
Case in point; Steve Rubel… Obviously, his blog PR is working to his benefit. Being featured in WebProNews alone means positive press read by nearly a half million eBusiness owners and managers. Way to go Steve!
Please provide your comments on blogging and PR. Do you have a blog? Has it been effective in driving traffic to your site? Has your blog helped you gain clients and business? Have you had trouble promoting your blog?
CEO, iEntry Inc.
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