Tonight, I’ve had an honour to speak in front of students of the Richmond University on PR blogging. Why would one bother to blog and what are the benefits of it? This is the summary of my talk.
Benefits of blogging
I’ve started off by saying why it’s beneficial to blog.
#1 Blogging builds your personal brand
Tom Peters in the article for FastCompany has said that we should all think of ourselves as brands – just like we think of Coca Cola or Nike. It’s all about being a CEO of Me Inc. In 21st century, it’s important to do some marketing work around your persona and be ‘out there’. If you want to be a public relations practitioner and be trusted to tell the story of your clients, why not start by telling your story?
There’s no better way of building a social presence, and in consequence, a personal brand online than blogging.
#2 It builds your network
Keith Ferrazzi throughout his book about networking called ‘Never eat alone’ emphasises that being able to build your own network is significant – in business, careers, and life.
Through blogging, you can build your community, discuss different issues with it and eventually build a network of like-minded people. You can learn a lot from your community, too.
#3 Helps you in job hunting
A renowned PR academic Richard Bailey writes in ‘Share this, too’ that we no longer expect to build a first impression on the day of the job interview – or on the first date. Our employer – or a date – has already googled our name.
Creating content online and having online footprint definitely helps in job hunting. I can recall many occasions when I slipped my blog into a job interview and impressed interviewees.
#4 But there’s so much more to it!
- Blogging is your digital playground – it helps you think out loud, helps you learn and explore;
- Blogging hones your writing skills and makes writing a habit;
- It can land you so many opportunities – such as talking engagements, more interest from recruiters and potential employers;
- Because you write so much, it also builds your confidence and makes you so much more opinionated.
Where to start? Blogging 101
I then moved on to how to actually start a blogging journey.
#1 Find your niche
You might think that public relations is a niche in itself. But there’s so many aspects of the industry; you can write about careers, social media, showcase your favourite campaigns, talk about ethics. Finding a niche is important as it helps you stand out from the crowds of other talented individuals out there. The more focused your approach is, the better.
#2 Plan your first posts
Make sure you plan ahead. Write down a few headlines, a few synopses to start with. This will prevent you from getting discouraged once you hit the inevitable wall – writer’s block.
#3 Think of a name and start creating!
But make sure not to overthink it. What’s the point of having good ideas when they’re staying in your head?
#4 Don’t check your analytics
Views and followers don’t matter What matters is your persistence. It matters that you learn, publish consistently and enjoy the process. And eventually, good work gets noticed.
A bit of inspo. Case studies
And to finish off, I shared a few bloggers that we can all learn from and get inspired by. I advised Richmond University students to take a look at their sites before doing anything.
#1 Orlagh Shanks
Orlagh is currently UK’s best PR student blogger. She writes not only about her PR adventures, but also about lifestyle, marketing and influencers. Beautifully written blog with never-ending passion and ideas.
#2 Ulster PR student blog
Ulster students made a great community blog and collectively share their thoughts on the industry.
#3 PR Place
Finally, I recommended PR Place run by the previously mentioned Richard Bailey. Richard does a brilliant job in curating best content written about public relations. He runs its weekly round-up ‘This Week in PR’ with the best blog posts written in the following week. He also runs a contest for the best student PR blogger.
I summed up my presentation by saying that blogging is a thankless task and it’s not an easy challenge. But it’s worthwhile. Don’t overthink starting a blog. Learn every day and enjoy the process.
If you have any suggestions, would like to guest post or give me a feedback, feel free to email me at kl.marcel [at] gmail.com, tweet me @marcelkl or connect with me on LinkedIn. Thanks for stopping by, have a splendid day!