On July 12 -16, I will be participating in the Global PR Blog Week. In preparation for that event, I was asked to provide answers to the following questions. I thought I'd share them here.
Why do you blog?
Blogging for me is a way of exploring ideas I am interested in related to communications and technology, to share my opinions on topics with others and to help educate people about new ways of thinking about public relations and marketing. I work from a home office, so it is also an important channel from me to the world and back. It keeps me connected into a wider community of people who are interested in similar things, and helps me to feel less isolated. Furthermore, as a communications professional, it is important I am well-versed in the tools that exist for helping organizations to effectively share their stories with their audiences. I guess you could say I practice what I preach.
Why is blogging important for PR?
People today are desperately seeking authenticity of communications. They are tired of slick, packaged goods. They are tired of lies, obfuscations, and being treated like idiots. Blogging has a tremendous ability to cut through all of that in a way that keeps the keeps the human voice front and center. Done well, it can help to engage audiences in discussions, and enable people to learn from each other. This is true for individuals, SMEs and large organizations alike.
What do you hope to see come out of this event? (ie outcomes)
I hope this event raises the profile of blogging as an important corporate communications/marketing tool and gives PR people the information they need to introduce blogging into their organizations.
What issue(s) will you be focusing on in your contribution and why?
My specific focus for this event is on "Pragmatic PR Strategies" that address the issues of community: building them and maintaining them. I am actually helping to build two membership organizations right now from scratch, and work for a third, so I am going to draw on that experience to share some of the challenges we are facing. Communications is the key to successful communities, and I will discuss how new tools like blogs can help. I will draw on some fascinating research on American communities represented in the book "Bowling Alone" by Robert Putnam, which I think is required reading for anyone interested in this topic. I have been having conversations with a variety of people from all walks of life on the topic of community, and will be sharing some highlights from them as well.