Mike Paffman, CEO, VIRGO PR
Blogs are journals that contain opinions about everything and anything. A blogger’s usual focus of promoting a single point of view is strategically different from a reporter’s aim of providing a balanced perspective. Blogging provides people with an easy way to make their voices heard in the web-based marketplace of ideas. Blogs and bloggers are now valuable sources of information. The challenge for PR is to make sense of the voices out there. There are different ways to use blogs for PR.
Content creation – For successful blogging, quality content is important. PR professionals are well suited to help with content creation because they are storytellers. Since they are more focused on liaising with the press, their writing style is not bluntly ‘salesy’. They are used to delivering company messages in a creative and compelling manner. PR practitioners can use SEO-optimized blog posts to give answers to questions the audience might have.
An organized plan – The foremost step in creating a blog is to choose a good domain name that is easy to remember. The domain name should be similar to the blog title. A few basic rules should be followed like choosing a day and time for posting new entries. A team of bloggers can rotate the responsibility for producing posts.
Monitor blogs – A crucial part of what PR people do is media measurement and additionally, they also need to measure what’s going on with the blogs. They need to go to search engines and run a query on their organization’s name, the names of their services and products, and other important words and phrases. Each organization would find value in knowing what’s being said on blogs about it or its products.Pr practitioners can then start to analyze trends. Is a product getting more or fewer blog mentions than the competitor’s products? Are the posts positive or negative?
Comment on blogs – A lot of blogs have a feature that allows anyone to comment on individual posts. Leaving comments on someone’s blog is one of the easiest ways to participate in a conversation. It is an opportunity to offer a viewpoint and add to an ongoing discussion. The key is to be relevant, focus on what the blog post says, and comment on that. Contact information can also be provided as part of the comment together with some content of value. Participation in social media lets people find out about a business. All blogging posts have a place where a web URL can be left so that people who read the comment can find out about the business and hopefully contact it.
Mention interesting experiences – The U.S. Marine Corps’s Marine Week is an example of an extremely interesting experience that has been used in blogs for PR purposes. Bloggers and members of the media are given an opportunity to take a 20-minute flight in an aircraft. Unlike on commercial aircraft, people in the aircraft are encouraged to use wireless mobile devices throughout the flight. People found it satisfying to live tweet during flying , generating awareness for the marines. Some businesses offer sample products to bloggers. These outreach programs provide bloggers with the information and sense of connection that would encourage them to tell the story of a business.
About the Author: Mike Paffmann is CEO of Virgo PR, a leading PR firm.