It is easy for PR pros and agencies to become so focused on earned media that they neglect the communication channels that they own and control. This is a mistake, particularly when it comes to the company blog. The blog is a uniquely powerful avenue for connecting with the public and the press. A high quality blog can serve as a support for all of the other parts of your PR strategy. Here are a few of the things it can do.
Establish Brand Identity and Voice
The thing that sets blogging apart from other corporate communications is its personal nature and more causal tone. Press releases, data sheets, and whitepapers typically don’t include the name of the person who wrote them, they are sort of missives from the corporate ether. Blogging gives you the opportunity to create personal connections and develop the voice and personality of your brand. People want to do business with other people they like and understand. A blog is your opportunity to let your audience know who you are and what your brand cares about and represents.
Become Your Own Newswire
In the past, when a company had news to share, the official statement was made in a press release. Blogging can play a similar role by giving brands the chance to tell the story behind the announcement. Instead of having your announcements languish on a newswire somewhere, your blog becomes the ultimate source for your news.
Catch the Attention of Journalists
Since blogs are often more entertaining and efficient than reading press releases, journalists and editors look to blogs as a source for new and interesting story ideas. Blog entries also contain material that can easily be turned into feature article material.
Establish Executive Thought Leadership
Your efforts to pitch your executives as sources for journalists will be bolstered if the leadership team participates in blogging. Blog posts from executives make great background information for journalists and help to establish their thought leadership with the press and in the public eye alike.
Expand Your Reach
Social networks have the power to take your brand’s message to people that you might not otherwise be able to reach. It is unlikely that your audience would share a press release on Twitter or LinkedIn, but people love to share entertaining, informative and useful blog posts.
Invite a Conversation
Another thing that sets blogs apart from other types of corporate communications is the reader's ability to leave comments. This is a great way to get a better insight into what is important to your audience. Replying to comments gives you yet another way to personalize the brand and start meaningful conversations with readers.
In short, blogging helps support earned media, spread your brand’s message, establish your identity, and humanize your organization. What more could a PR professional ask for?