After being named one of the top PR blogs in the UK by Vuelio, last week blog MK has been shortlisted to Richard Bailey’s selection for the Britain’s best PR student blog. In response to Richard’s post, I decided to write why I started writing a blog and how it helped me in building my future career. Because it hugely did!
My blogging journey started last summer. Two people in particular have inspired me. Both David Gallagher and Stephen Waddington kept emphasising how important writing and sharing content is. That’s how the idea for MK was born, and I’m incredibly grateful to David and Stephen for guiding me back then.
#1 Building network
One of the first things I’ve done after getting a marcelkl domain and figuring out all the technicalities, was approaching people for my #4PRQs (Four PR Questions) series. I gathered a huge amount of great feedback for the series. Fellow students, people outside of the industry, and practitioners themselves were really fond of this very simple idea. Interviews are not an innovative form, but I felt that seeking career advice from prominent comms professionals was a massive niche. I always wanted to read something like that myself. Almost 30 (sic!) entires on, I’ve built a diversified professional network and I was named a “professional networker” in Richard Bailey’s shortlist. I’ll take that title!
#2 Having a platform to share
When I interviewed Stephen Waddington for my dissertation, I asked him about his blog. Stephen’s wadds is one of the most influential PR outlets. He told me that he uses it as a platform to share his views and because of it, he is able to think out loud. I love this concept. Thanks to MK, I feel that I can have my opinion and have a place to share it. I feel that I became much more opinionated because of my blog. I’m more confident in sharing my opinions, too.
Blogging is a big commitment. You set your own deadlines. You don’t have to commit to them, but if you do, it shows your dedication. Writing a blog takes time and it requires a lot of self-discipline. But starting is the hardest. Once you get flow, it only gets easier. Richard Bailey in Share This Too (brilliant read for every PR student), writes that blogging is a “thankless task.” I couldn’t agree more. If you’re starting a blog to gain something, you’re doing it wrong. Write to bring value, not to get something out of it. If you blog because you’re passionate about the subject of matter, it’ll eventually pay the dividends anyways.
One of the biggest incentives behind starting my blog was to improve my writing skills. Public relations is an industry of wordsmiths. Words matter. After six months, I’m still not as good of a writer as I wish I was, but I can see the improvement. It’s much easier for me to express my thoughts and ideas in writing now.
Apart from working on my discipline and sharpening my writing skills, I’ve also started being more aware of the issues in the industry and started reading more widely. I’m always on the lookout for the topics for a post. MK made me more curious and critical.
Building on the first point — MK opened many doors for me. I’ve met some amazing people. Many reached out to me, and the blog got me a few productive “networking coffees.” I got praised for my blogging efforts on a number of occasions. I tend to ignore praises and embrace criticism, but putting content that others appreciate always keeps me motivated.
I’m currently wrapping up my dissertation (a massive piece of 10,000 words) and will be soon starting the new PR adventure. As much as I’d love to share some details, it would be pretty unwise of me to do so. But I can assure you that my blog had a very DIRECT impact on securing this very EXCITING opportunity.
If you have any suggestions, or would like to give me a feedback, feel free to email me at kl.marcel [at] gmail.com, tweet me @marcelkl or see my LinkedIn. Thanks for stopping by, have a splendid day!