PR’s Blogging Lessons Learned
In February, I posted that this blog would be coming to an end by summer (Sun Setting on Paul Roberts on PR). The delayed ending was planned in order to give myself some time away (to reflect) before posting my final few entries.
First, a reminder of where I started and why I created this blog (The First Day of the Rest of My Blog). The short version is that realizing that public relations and communications as a whole was changing, I decided to start a blog and join Twitter in order to gain the hands on experience necessary to properly counsel companies.
So, after a couple of years of blogging, I’ve decided that (for now) I will walk away from this blog. Not because I think I’ve learned everything there is to learn, but because the entire idea of this blog was to serve as an experiment, and as such it has as shelf life.
To be honest, the last couple of months in which I haven’t blogged, have been fantastic. It is sort of like when you get to a point in your career where you finally make enough money that you can quit your part time job. It has been very freeing. Don’t get me wrong, there is much that I’ve missed about blogging, but personally, my life has never been better. I’m spending more time with my wife and kids on weekends, no longer writing late at night or early morning, my health is the best it’s been in years. Maybe this isn’t all because I’ve stopped blogging, but you get the point.
Blogging is work and takes time. Every communications person advising a client starts with the usual guidance. Blogging is a commitment. Blogging requires consistency. Blogging is more than just write and release, it takes some marketing etc. Now, did my years of blogging provide me with the insight to provide any alternative advice? Maybe, but maybe not. Does this mean that I would have been better off just parroting the usual advice without having ‘wasted my time’ blogging. No, because the hands-on experience has been invaluable – even if is doesn’t change the bullet points on my next Blogging 101 PowerPoint slide.
Blogging is rewarding. For some people, rewarding can mean business or career benefits and personal satisfaction etc. The point is that most things worth doing require effort and I believe more than ever before that blogging is worth doing for many reasons. While truth be told, the most interesting interaction I’ve had with other bloggers has been via email, in person and via DM on Twitter, here is the page on my blog that I never expected. I’m humbled when someone takes the time to read my posts, so you can imagine how it makes me feel when a fellow blogger takes the time to reference this blog in their own post. Each entry on this page is an honor – one that I never expected.
Blogging is powerful. This may be the place where this blogger has had his eyes opened the most. Again, any Blogging 101 PowerPoint deck is going to espouse the power of creating a blog, but this is one place where I’ve been educated in a way that only first-hand knowledge can provide. Over the course of the last couple of years, I’ve been amazed with the interaction this blog as provided to me. The experiences and lessons from the last couple of years have impacted my opinion and changed me from a guy who thinks a good corporate blog is a luxury, to a communications professional that knows it is a required element of a communications program.
Blogging is subjective. Yet again, this is a piece of knowledge that I probably had going into this experiment, but still a worthy lesson to experience first hand. Going back to that PowerPoint deck, we all know what in theory makes a good blog, but there is no accounting for taste. There are a number of bloggers that I read regularly that are smart, funny, post regularly, include interesting blog elements such as video and graphics and are accomplished well respected industry experts, but are not as popular as some other often less interesting and less informative bloggers. There is a science to creating a good blog. But creating a great (or popular) blog is an art.
And finally, blogging like any other communications tool should be reevaluated from time to time. From time to time it is necessary to reevaluate the benefits, challenges, goals and rewards of a blog and adjust accordingly. Even if that means moving on.
While I reserve the right to change my mind, currently, there are two final posts planned for this blog. The next entry will focus on how this blog has impacted my view of the right way to run a PR program.
As always, a huge and sincere THANKS to those who have taken even a second of their valuable time to read what I have to say.
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