28 Jan So You Have a Blog…
By: Molly Galler
Today we’re kicking off a new series here on the LaunchBlog called “So you…” in which members of the Squad share unlikely connections between their past employment in other industries or their personal passion projects that actually enhance their ability to provide stellar service to their clients. If you are considering a career in Public Relations, but aren’t sure if you have relevant experience, the “So you…” series will help shed some light on which skills are most transferable.
For example, do you have a blog? On January 4, 2009 I started my personal blog. I had made a New Year’s resolution to do more creative writing and within the first week of the year, I was determined to get it off the ground. In the six years since that day, I have been shocked to discover all the ways writing and running a blog have made me smarter and more strategic in my daily interactions with media, influencers, clients and vendors. What started as a hobby project, has become one of my most valuable assets.
If you have a personal blog, there are several ways that hobby can help you up your game at the office. Let’s discuss.
- Writing with confidence: Blogging in your personal life gives you the expertise to write on behalf of your clients. Through your own site, you have likely composed short form and long form pieces, included photos, embedded videos and/or promoted that content across social media. With that knowledge under your belt, you’re able to confidently recommend a blog content strategy to your clients and produce the content yourself.
- Experimenting without fear: If your blog is primarily for fun, you are likely not afraid to test new types of content, plug-ins, widgets, polls or advertising units. As a result of that, when you suggest a particular execution to a client, it’s based on personal experience. You are able to share pros, cons and metrics to help them make the most informed decision possible.
- Crafting attention-grabbing opportunities: One of the most ironic things about being a blogger who works with bloggers, is that during the day you pitch influencers about opportunities to collaborate with your clients, and when you get home at night, you sift through emails from PR reps asking you to partner with their clients! As a result of living in the center of this PR/Blogger Venn diagram, you are uniquely qualified to craft collaboration opportunities that are both attention-grabbing and realistic.
- Providing points of comparison: If you are a blogger whose site covers multiple topics like food, fashion or travel, it’s highly likely you’ve had the chance to collaborate with brands of different sizes, varying industries and a wide range of budgets. Through those projects, you’re able to compare your experiences to those you offer to influencers via your clients. If you experience something through your personal blog that’s unexpected, innovative and enjoyable, you can bring that feedback to your team at the office and say, “This was amazing. We should think about how to weave these tactics into our client work.” Personally, I have found this to be especially true with digital invitations and brand hosted events.
- Building relationships: Through blogging, you have constant opportunities to expand your professional network to include fellow bloggers (across multiple verticals), PR reps, brand managers, social media managers, advertisers and more. You may find that one of your blogger friends turns out to be a perfect match for a client, or one of the brands you’ve partnered with is an ideal fit for a co-branded project with your client. Having these existing relationships makes it that much easier to secure the ideal person (or people) for your clients.
- Boosting your resume: Having a blog can lead to new career opportunities. In fact, it may be your site that leads a recruiter to you. Back in 2011, I was recruited through my blog by an advertising agency to be the first community manager in their newly formed Social Influence department. When I interviewed, all eight people I met with had checked out the site and read the last several posts. It helped them to get to know me personally and to see what I was capable of in the blogging/social media space.
On January 4, 2009, if you had asked me if I thought starting a blog would give me all of these professional advantages, I probably couldn’t have wrapped my brain around it. Now, I can’t imagine it being any other way.
If you are thinking about a career in Public Relations but haven’t yet had the chance to work at an agency, be sure to share your blog with recruiters. Your writing experience, your insider status in the blogger community and your professional network are all huge assets.
If you’re struggling to find the time to maintain your blog, push yourself to keep it up. Carve out enough time to post at least once a week. It’s worth it for you, your teams and your clients.
Curious about what other skills transfer to the PR world? Check out more unconventional ways to hone your industry knowledge here.
*Image courtesy of TheBostonFashionista.com.