By Artwell Nwaila
They also work great as support structure for existing social media platforms; contributing greatly to the growth and conversation of your digital community.
The question of whether PR agencies should blog comes up often and it is a justified one. Like every industry it is true that not everyone needs to have a blog; not everyone has something to say and maybe Facebook
does the job perfectly for them. We’ve all seen how following online trends for the sake of being in the pack can backfire.
There are also questions of who an agency would talk to. Would it talk to the PR industry? Wouldn't that then mean talking to its competitors? Would this not give away its tricks of the trade? After all that’s why people read blogs; to learn. Or does the agency write about its clients and current campaign progressions? Could that open up a gateway for a public complaint forum?
Some argue that the PR agencies should be in the background. And then there is the fear of damaging relationships with the press and clients. Digital analyst, Brain Solis, says in an article
; "Contrary to popular belief, sometimes being open can hurt your brand. It’s just that simple and a reflection and reminder that we are all open to public interpretation and response. Social Media is a powerful medium and it cannot be underestimated, taken for granted, or leveraged only because it’s the new hot trend."
With all that all that said, it is impossible to ignore the positives of using such a medium. There are plenty of reasons why an agency should consider a blog, but first the agency needs to determine if they have the commitment to keep it regularly updated. Before starting a blog, organisations need to understand who they want to talk too and research what their potential readers want to consume. They have to weigh the pros and cons and see if it will be beneficial for them and the client at all.
Adam Singer says on The Future Buzz
that if you are a modern agency, you practice isn't defined by your website, it's defined by the ongoing story you’re telling to the world through the social web. He also goes on to say; "If I were client-side why would I hire any type of agency unable to succeed using modern communications tools? After all, it’s the job of agencies to stay at the edge
Blogs have the ability to build the agencies personality and humanise otherwise stale organisations. Documenting, photographing and videoing community projects is one such example. Let's not forget the search engine optimisation benefits which include focused and targeted traffic which will increase lead generation. Offering tutorials and 'how to' sections create the perception of a teaching brand. Publishing winning case studies will establish the expertise of the company and its executives, essentially rendering the agency a hub of thought leaders.
PR agency blogging can be extremely beneficial when done correctly and the relevant research has been followed through. That's not to say that everyone has to blog. Ken Makovsky, a contributor at Forbes
, states that companies are recognising the value of their blogs. He also tells us that 85% of businesses rated their company blogs as “useful,” “important” or “critical.” A very significant 27% rated their company blog as “critical” to their business
What are your thoughts? Do you think agencies should blog?