When discussing PR strategies and someone throw’s ‘Hey, why don’t we try a blog’ into the circle, there tends to be a unanimous expression of fear on everyone’s faces while they imagine the public staring directly into your soul, scornfully judging every word that is thoughtfully tapped by the people behind the brand. Okay true, a blog does allow more freedom but that doesn’t mean you need to give away all your secrets or reveal what happened at the last office party. What it does mean, if done tastefully, is that your readers see that there are human-beings behind the brand, not just robots, and the brand becomes more trustworthy and relatable.
I decided to write this blog after seeing one of our local Jersey politicians making the very quick transition from non-tweeter, to first-time tweeter, to fully-blown blogger, all within a few months. Sir Philip Bailhache, Minister for External Affairs, is in the news having articulated his first blog post about Jersey in the post-Brexit world, where he puts his personal stamp on the blog post saying ‘I think…Jersey is well prepared and well positioned to succeed in the post-Brexit world’.
CEO's of companies can have a blog too, for example, take Mr. Yes himself, Richard Branson, who uses his blog to describe how his personal experiences have helped mould the way his brand has evolved. This gives him a personality which is attractive to consumers and works as a very useful PR tool in attracting more customers who also want to know more about the-man-behind-the-brand. Likewise, if you run a large company you could write a blog post about a certain topic (as I am now) which is relevant to your work, discuss and add a dash of personality – when done well, people will come back for more.
There are, of course, negative connotations with writing a blog and the power which you unknowingly have at your fingertips. (Cue personal experience, essential to a well-done blog post…) This weekend I happened to see a BBC 3 documentary on iPlayer called ‘Clean eating’s dirty secrets’, which was presented by popular vlogger (video-blogger) Grace Victory. Having a certain interest in the area lured me to press the play button (hoping for an excuse to be less healthy), and what emerged was more of a lecture on why not to take bloggers’ advice at face-value. In short – a lot of bloggers with an interest in healthy eating are dishing out advice which their millions of followers are taking as bible and actually doing harm to their bodies. This can apply to any advice given in the public domain on any topic, which simply comes down to being ethical, something that the CIPR like to stress and ensure that all PR practitioners are communicating in an honest way on all platforms.
So, the lesson here is to blog, but blog with caution. Do use it as a modern way of connecting to consumers, and giving people a tailored ‘behind-the-scenes’ view of what goes on in your business, but remember that you have the power to influence, so use it carefully.