Yesterday one of our account managers emailed me about a very nice hit (mention in an article) for a media relations client (way to go Bill!) in a prominent technology publication. This pub has an online version and the topic was pretty provocative.
I did a quick search on Google blog search and noticed a significant number of blogs buzzing about this topic. It would be a great opportunity for the client to participate in those threads of dialogue and present their unique perspective. Doing so with a blog post to link back to offering more details would be a great way to connect with a community that cares deeply about the topic. Except one thing. The client doesn’t have a blog.
There are some interesting reasons why this is the case and I am looking forward to having a discussion with the client as soon as I can (they are not a client I work with personally) to talk about the benefits of blogs for PR. Of course we could still participate in the threads of discussion, but without a blog, it’s just not as “real” or as effective.¬† Here are 5 benefits of having a company blog for media and blogger relations:
- Blogs offer a platform for discussion – Comments and trackbacks create new connection opportunities, 24/7.
- RSS makes your news subscribable – Make it easy for media, clients, staff and your target market to stay up to date with your company’s news and reinforce your brand.
- Journalists look for company blogs – Give them what they’re looking for.
- Bloggers trust other bloggers more than the media – Blogger relations is a slippery slope, but can be a very fruitful one. Relating to bloggers in your industry as more of a blogger rather than a media relations person or marketer is more of a legitimate effort and will get you further.
- Blogging results are a measurable PR activity – A longstanding issue with PR is a lack of good success metrics.
Companies that have gotten over the old “teenager’s journal” stigma about blogs often wrestle with concerns over the resources needed to make a blog successful. Should they add the responsibility to the marketing team? Should they hire someone from outside to write and manage it? Should it be outsourced to a blogging consultant? If not all, what parts? There are indeed a lot of good questions.
Fortunately, with experienced blog marketers there are some great answers. Like most consulting, the answers are qualified by, “it depends on your situation”, and I will be the first to admit that blogs are not the right answer for everyone. However, with the right strategy, plan, training and reinforcement, a company can do a lot of good for it’s brand and reputation using a blog.
With ongoing promotion and consulting, benefits can be extended into search engine visibility (blog search, social media as well as traditional search) and lead generation.
Have you started a business blog and had troubles or successes? What are some of the challenges companies are having regarding a corporate blog?