For public relations professionals, blogging may be natural, but it
isn’t always easy, particularly if you have a full-time job or are
running a business.
I love to write, feel reasonably confident in my
blogging, and even held editorial positions early in my career (where
all I did was write). Even so, there are days when coughing up even a
brief post feels like drudgery, and when my husband is my most loyal
Business blogging has changed fairly dramatically in
the six short years since I started. It seems like everyone’s into
content marketing, so it’s much harder to stand out. Also, the role of
the content blog as a community hub has diminished in favor of social
media platforms. Today, people are more likely to be commenting on
Facebook, Instagram or Medium than on your blog page, so it’s less
likely to result in the gratification of lots of comments. And blog
comment spam is so out of control that even super-blogger Chris Brogan recently closed down his public comment function.
All that said, I think the predictions of blogging’s death are premature.
It’s vital for communications pros to understand the mechanics of
blogging, and to be able to jump in when needed. For those of us
in PR who counsel clients about it, it helps to have done it. We’re
familiar with the challenges as well as the upside. A blog is also an
extraordinarily valuable tool for a business owner. Here’s why.
Fresh content drives SEO. High-quality, searchable
content is a part of any good PR or marketing campaign, and increasing
your blogging is probably the most painless way to update content
without thinking about it. What it may lack in precise targeting
strategy, it can make up for in frequency and regularity.
A blog is a key sales tool. Content extends a company’s selling proposition. Yes,
there are plenty of other ways to push out content, but an
industry-focused blog is the most organic way to get your message out.
In our business, the talent of our staff is what we’re selling. So, why
not highlight that talent and how we think, create, and work on a weekly
A blog is a great recruiting tool. Direct,
unfiltered contact with important constituencies is key to a
professional services company, and in our business, finding talented
staff is sometimes harder than finding great clients. Since we’ve
upgraded our blog, we’ve noticed a measurable increase in the quantity
and quality of unsolicited resumes from new and recent communications
Blogging feeds your social stream. Finding relevant content to share on social networks is made easier with a steady flow of blog posts.
A blog is good brand PR. It shows that someone’s
home. When browsing the sites of creative agencies, or just about any
company, most of us note if there’s an up-to-date blog. It says you’re
plugged in to industry issues and events, and it inevitably leads to
additional visibility opportunities in the form of speaking invitations
and content sharing within other, relevant professional communities.
Blogging is a terrific discipline. I think of it
like working out. You may dread it, try to avoid it, or occasionally
even hate it. But when it’s done, it’s a beautiful feeling and a very
empowering step that propels you on to the next thing.
Dorothy Crenshaw is CEO and creative director of Crenshaw
Communications. She has been named one of the public relations
industry’s 100 Most Powerful Women by PR Week. A version of this story
appeared on the Crenshaw Communications blog.