By PR columnist Alison Kenney.
I recently sat down with a friend who wanted advice on how to bring his professional association up-to-speed on social media. As an association that serves those in the marketing profession, he was a little embarrassed by their lack of social media involvement. So I showed him how to build a group page on LinkedIn and Facebook and how to start a Twitter feed. Then I told him NOT to blog.
I know there’s some irony in me writing a blog post about why you shouldn’t blog, but I have some good reasons:
- Lack of time. Since my friend’s role in this association is in addition to his regular, full-time paid job, the effort of writing the blog would be done after-hours, on his own time. And writing a blog, especially one that represents a professional organization, takes time – time to come up with compelling topics that haven’t been covered elsewhere (which means making time for lots of reading), time to write and edit the posts to get just the right tone, and time to do this on a regular basis.
- Lack of fresh content. Some people think that a blog is a good place to aggregate content or simply another channel for broadcasting messages to reach new audiences. And, for some blogs, this is the case. However, to gain significant traction among readers and respect in your industry, this should not be your approach. Instead, consider reason #3.
- You can link to other blogs instead. If one of your goals in blogging is to be seen as a “thought leader” (quotes come directly from hundreds of us PR folk), why not use that space on your web site to create a blog roll or links to the best or most popular bloggers in your industry? This is a good idea for associations or group organizations as it allows them to showcase members’ blogs or the posts of industry leaders.
- You’re not a good writer. Even though the word ‘blog’ sounds so very casual when you say it, writing an actual blog involves a degree of writing skill. Not everyone can write a blog because not everyone can focus a thought or argument or find a compelling point of view, e.g. the CEO who turns every topic or trend into a reason to promote his or her company’s products.
- You don’t have a well of content to draw from. Perhaps you’re the still-in-school intern who knows WordPress, but not much about the business or the industry. Or perhaps you’ve held the same job for 35 years but aren’t particularly curious about others in your space. Either way, your blog posts aren’t likely to be very riveting.
- You plan on posting once a month, or at least until your cache of blog post topics runs dry. Honestly, it’s better not to have a blog than to have one that is infrequently or seldom updated. It’s confusing to readers and can also reflect poorly on the rest of your web site.
- Understand that blogging isn’t a panacea. Blogging is only one piece of the marketing pie. And contrary to what some ‘experts’ and ‘gurus’ will tell you, it’s not a quick or cheap way to attract or interact with desired audiences.
So what should you do instead of blogging? First, try commenting on other blogs. Commenting takes more thought and effort than just retweeting a link, but comments are searchable and you can drive traffic to your web site or another online profile by including the link in your comment. Commenting on other blogs can help you build a reputation online without the hassle of managing your own blog.
Alison Kenney an independent PR practitioner with more than 15 years of PR consulting experience. She is based on Boston’s North Shore and has worked with organizations in the technology, professional services and consumer industries. She writes a bi-monthly PR column on LindsayOlson.com. You can find her at www.kprcommunications.com. Learn more about Alison Kenney.
Date: January 19th, 2011 / Author: Lindsay
Posted in Public Relations /