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When the Shoe Fits and Other Thoughts on Blogging for PR Best Practices

ImageBecause she was creative, my mom liked to do things in…. well, interesting ways. So instead of growing up with “Cinderella and the Seven Dwarfs” and “Snow White,” I grew up with “Rindercella and the Deven Swarfs” and “Whoe Snight.”

Sadly, I inherited her tendency. I even tried out for a high school play as a freshmen telling the entire story of Rindercella. And with a straight face. Oh, the embarrassment of it…

The occasional word still sneaks out today with the letters mixed around, usually unintentional and often with interesting timing. Like, oh say, a new client meeting? Whoops. Thanks, mom.

So today, because I’m feeling just a bit snarky and missing my mom, my post topic is along the same lines. If the foo shits – the shoe fits – WEAR IT(Does this count as swearing? It shouldn’t, right? It’s just a little letter switcheroo. Please don’t be offended.) 

What do I mean by this? Absorb best practices, read about them and try them on for size. If it helps, then adopt it and make that best practice your own guideline and standard operating procedure.

And when it doesn’t fit? Kick it off and start over, or shift to something new that is more comfortable for you. Not every best practice fits every business or strategy.

Today, we’ll apply this specifically to PR professionals who use blogging as one of their tactics.

Many people blog, yet VERY FEW manage to get real traction and create audiences around their content.

Because I had a request this week to summarize the last #PRprochat on Blogging Best Practices for public relations professionals, I thought it might be an opportunity to tie in the conversation. Here comes some great tweets from the last chat that might help you out, and a few suggestions around what to do when the shoe DOESN’T fit.

When you think of  blogging for PR, what best practice comes immediately to mind?

  • Badass Blogging Best Practices from http://ow.ly/ptgrc  by @wonderwall7 via @sejournal
  • Not everyone likes to subscribe in the same way – offer options, make it easy, ASK for it.
  • Don’t blog unless you can add value to constituents! ~ @GerardCorbett
  • Don’t blog to blog – blog to provide great content to a specific target audience.

Give people information they can only obtain from you – teach your visitors. ~ @DavidFrerker

  • Teaching is good, but teach something specific, unique, that they can’t find all over the internet. Value is critical!
  • Don’t talk down to readers. Blog posts should provide valuable info, but don’t assume readers are dumb. ~ @AHalbers
  • Be sure to cite your sources and use appropriate links to them. ~ @IllumeofAZ
  • Targeting your posts is critical. It’s easier to stand out in a smaller audience, provide value and create loyalty.

Don’t drone on; be succinct, compelling, interesting and creative in your post. ~ @GerardCorbett

  • Create entertaining content by embedding images, tweets and videos. ~ @TweepForce
  • Many preach about quality, but what does that mean? Targeted audience, great writing, unique topics.
  • Show other blogs love, too! Follow and share. Everyone should have fun and have their own voice. ~ @Katie_Snyder1
  • It’s good to have a fun post every now and then. Add value, but every post doesn’t have to be “chewy” or a lecture. ~ @AHalbers
  • Don’t blog unless you can sustain it over time. There are LOTS of abandoned blogs in cyberspace. ~ @GerardCorbett

How to Rescue an Under-Performing Blog – ow.ly/ptiz8

  • How to Be Smart in a World of Dumb Bloggers:  boostblogtraffic.com/smart-blogger/ … via @JonMorrow
  • Dumb bloggers think of it only as an SEO tool – not a community building tool, providing value. SEO is not first!
  • Expect to spend one to four hours writing each post, depending on complexity and topic. Mix up short posts with long.
  • You don’t have to provide all the answers. Ask questions, ask for help, etc. ~ @NickKellet

And last but never least? Don’t begin blogging just for the sake of blogging — the #1 biggest mistake, according to @Katie_Snyder1.

When The Shoe Simply Doesn’t Fit

There are times when a blog just isn’t a good fit for a brand or client, or you just don’t have the resources to put best practices into play.

So what do you do?  Be flexible. If you have few or no subscribers and there aren’t very many posts, simply take the blog down. Just delete the entire thing. This is especially true if it has poorly written posts, they aren’t targeted or if they are written about a topic with a short shelf-life.

Good content? Turn the posts into stand-alone articles for your website. This allows you to keep the SEO value of the work you’ve invested if the posts are evergreen content.

Either way, don’t beat yourself up about it. Move on to better things that drive results.

image: cinderella PR/shutterstock

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