When people talk about digital PR, which is often, they usually talk about Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn strategies. This is fine because social networks can be wonderful digital PR tools, but they’re not the only ones. An obvious tool is a company blog. It’s also one of the most under-estimated and under-used tools.
Why are blogs so good for PR?
- Blogging is more conversational than something like a press release or short status update. It makes companies more real, more human and easier to relate to.
- It’s a bigger platform on which to convey information, so you can add more detail to teasers on social networks. You can also showcase your expertise by writing a series of tutorials or informative posts, adding images, videos and slideshows to your heart’s content.
- It boosts online presence, especially if you post worthwhile content that readers absolutely have to share.
- Regular, interesting updates attract attention from journalists and other interested parties who may start using your site as a regular reference, which will start sending traffic your way.
How can PR agencies help?
Not all businesses are comfortable creating blogs from scratch. Even though platforms like WordPress are easy to use, it can still be daunting getting stuck into the backend – customising the design, finding the right plugins, and linking it to the website. PR agencies can take on this task, even if they have to outsource design elements to other companies. Of course, this means that PR agencies need to be familiar with various blogging platforms, but that’s part of adapting to the digital environment, isn’t it?
They can also help clients come up with relevant and interesting topics about which to write. It’s not recommended that PR agencies actually write the blogs – no one knows your business better than you – but they can help kick-start the creative process.
To this end they might work with clients to draw up a monthly blogging plan, which includes topic ideas, posting schedules and exposure on social media. It’s important to keep some wriggle room for unexpected news updates or announcements, which won’t throw out the schedule.
With a blogging plan in place, PR agencies can incorporate the blog into their broader digital PR efforts and make it part of their holistic strategy, which includes print approaches.
There are certain instances when agencies could blog on their clients’ behalf. For example, writing guest blog posts, which might require more polished writing skills, as well as some basic optimisation. Another option regarding guest blogging is for clients to write the content and for PR agencies to edit it. Not edit it severely, mind you, but just enough so that it suits a particular blog’s tone and style and to ensure that it’s all grammatically correct.
Finally, PR agencies can keep blogging on track. Many companies start blogs with the best of intentions but then let them fall by the wayside. A dedicate PR agency, however, can crack the whip and keep updates coming regularly.
Sandy Cosser writes for Now Learning, which promotes TAFE online courses and other tertiary education opportunities in Australia.