Many PR agencies run blogs for their clients, liaising with the client and capturing the client’s voice to try and avoid any transparency issues of course. And in a day when social media and online resources reign supreme, it’s entirely necessary. But what about a blog for your agency and broadcasting your own voice?
But, why have a blog? Isn’t the point to pitch your clients to other bloggers? Actually, having your own blog for your PR agency can prove to be very valuable, as many are already finding out. It’s important to show your agency is on the cutting edge of technology and media tactics. Clients are not going to hire you to run their blog or embark on a blog outreach program if you can’t even sustain one yourself. It’s kind of a ‘practice what you preach’ type thing to set a good example as to why your clients should have blogs and why blogging is important.
As for the subject matter, should it only be centered around public relations or can agencies use their own blog to promote their clients? As Tom Foremski notes in a recent blog post, many PR professionals have a stronger following and higher traffic on their sites than journalists – be it blogs, Twitter, or Facebook. So if you want your clients’ news to be more widely read, putting it up on your own blog might do the trick. However, there’s something to say for third party validity. Having a journalist write about your client is much more credible than writing about them yourself, since they’re paying you and all. This means that someone else found your client’s story newsworthy and worth sharing. And though PR people might have a stronger following, journalists have a much more targeted following, one that you are trying to reach. So maybe quality over quantity rules in this instance and your agency’s blog should stick to PR and not your clients’ products or services. Using clients as examples of your PR successes or strategies, however, can provide great fodder and real world scenarios that are beneficial to the PR industry as a whole.
Also, having your own blog finally gives you a space to do some PR for your agency. Many agencies can’t find the time to do PR for themselves as they are too busy submitting press releases, bylines, awards, and speaking proposals for their clients. Taking on PR for yourself is essentially like adding another client to your workload. But a blog is a great place to start to promote your own agency and showcase the talent, ideas, and forward thinking you have within your own walls. PR people are creative on a daily basis for their clients, but look!, finally an outlet to be creative on behalf of yourself and your agency; what fun!
Finally, a blog is a great outlet to expand your personal influence. An article in the New York Times (which I referenced in an older post) talks about PR pro, Brooke Hammerling’s influence and how she’s achieved such a high level of influence personally, that journalists are calling her for the story and all she has to do is mention a client for the story to get picked up. The rest of us can only dream… but starting a blog and expounding upon your own industry insights is a great place to start!