Blogs are quickly growing in popularity and more businesses, organizations and politicians are realizing the impact bloggers can have on them. When trying to gain information about public opinion, bloggers are one of the first sources people turn to. For example, nj.com recently featured an article on what bloggers think about the congressional vote to repeal gays in the military ban.
The influence of a blogger can be great so it’s important to know how to gain a blogger’s support. According to thefutureofbuzz.com, many PR practitioners are pitching bloggers the wrong way. It says that one of the biggest mistakes practitioners are making is pitching stories that are not relevant to the blogger’s audience. So it is important to research bloggers and find the one that is the best fit for your story.
Problogger.com recently featured 21 tips on how to pitch bloggers that I found helpful. Some of the tips included to be an active follower of the blogger who you are interested in pitching an idea, avoid press releases, and give them an exclusive. The article suggests “Comment first, Pitch later. It’s a good way to get to know the opinions of the blogger and shows the blogger that your not just about “taking” but you are also willing to “give”. Influential bloggers receive thousands of press releases everyday so it better to contact the blogger and express why what you are pitching would be a good fit to their blog. Bloggers love to break stories because it helps them build traffic, so if you provide the blogger with an exclusive they are a lot more likely to write about your story. Having an influential blogger feature your story can draw a lot of attention to your business or organization so using the proper pitching techniques is essential.
As technology continues to transform the business world, email is growing to be the communication method of choice. As PR student, it is important to become connected with other professionals, for networking and for gaining valuable information. I have recently been searching for an internship and although as college student I have used email to communicate with my professors, I now see how useful it can be in communicating with my peers and PR professionals about possible opportunities.
Writing an email to a professional can be intimidating, so take the time to make sure you are writing an effective email. According to a article by Dennis G. Jerz, Associate Professor at Seton Hill University, it is important to format your email in way that provides information they need so that he or she can act on your message quickly. Some of the tips that Jerz suggests are Write a meaning subject line, Focus on a single action and identify yourself clearly.
There are also some things that you should avoid in writing professional emails. In an article on ThinkSimpleNow.com, a website that provides advice on real-life issues, it is important to keep it simple and as to the point as possible, professionals are busy and don’t have time to read a wordy email. With Facebook and texting it is becoming habit to write in “texting slag”, this something you avoid completely when writing professional emails.
Be a good correspondent. In an article on mindtools.com, a website that provides career advice, it suggests that you check your inbox regularly, it is courteous to return emails in a timely manner. It will encourage others to respond quickly as well. Email can be one of your most useful communication tools, so make sure you are utilizing it properly.
Currently they are 4.1 million blogs around the world with a new blog created every 7.4 seconds, according to a report at the Web 2.0 conference. Blogging is fast becoming a versatile tool for both PR practitioners and businesses. As PR student who will soon be entering the job market, I know how completive it can be out there. The more research I have been doing, the more I am learning how much having a blog can be helpful in making yourself stand out from other candidates. It shows employers your writing style and can display your PR knowledge.
Businesses are also using blogs to make themselves stand out. According a article by Wayne Hurlbert a blog is the becoming the best way to put a face to a company. Blogging provides a way for businesses to communicate with its publics in a conversational style. Hurlbert said, “the more casual, and comparatively unfiltered voice of the blogger creates the image of a business as being composed of real people like you. Instead of being a nameless and faceless corporation, the blog helps the people in the company, to come alive in their posts.” Hurlbert also said how valuable blog can be during a crisis to communicate with consumers and help establish trust.
In a article in Bloomburg Businessweek, some major corporations like Google and Microsoft are even encouraging their staff members to start blogs because employees can form bonds with customers, swap ideas and create loyal audiences. I like when company have blogs as a part of their websites because blogs a way for customers like me to communicate not only with the business but also with other consumers like me. Blogs are making it easy to gain real feedback about a businesses or product.
In the ever-changing World Wide Web, social media is causing a splash in public relations world. Social media is revolutionizing the way businesses are communicating. No longer are PR practitioners reliant on gatekeepers to get out the word out. They can now release news immediately to its followers via social media sites like Facebook and twitter. According to Computer World UK, Twitter is the most popular social media site used by businesses. It is now common place for celebrities and CEOs to ”tweet” official statements addressing rumors or concerns of stakeholders. Facebook has created two-way communication giving ordinary people platform to comment on organization’s wall, which provides valuable feedback for the organization. Jeremy Pepper, a PR blogger, said “Social media is a great tool for public relations people, especially if you align it to both PR goals and figure out what the ROI (return on investment) is for the client or the company.” A recent study by iPressroom stated that social media efforts are the responsibility of public relations.
Social media has also been a valuable tool in creating interactive gateways for fans to participate in contests and other activities that generate traffic to a business’ page. It has created so many opportunities for PR practitioners that did not exist prior to the social media. As newspaper popularity continues to diminish, social media popularity continues to grow. Lisa Brock of Brock Communications said that she believes that in the future of public relations business and organizations will be the be their own source of news, releasing information directly to their audience. I agree with Brock because it is already happening now that more businesses are now realizing the value of social media.