What sets a blog apart is the personal tone, providing a unique, personal way to communicate. And, what can be seen is that the casual, candid voice of the blogger creates a corporate reputation that is ‘real’.
Today, we notice companies turning to blogs to complement their communications bouquet. Considering the storytelling angle, blogging is a powerful tool for communicating business stories. Communicating business stories in a compelling way, helps engage new audiences and build relationships with existing customers. It also positions you as a thought-leader in your space. Thus, this can be a powerful way to aid business growth, in the long term.
- Blogging needs to be a part of your PR strategy
Blogging can indeed achieve your ambition to become a digital publisher. Moving away from the traditional press release when a company had an announcement to make, blogs are a great tool to adopt. In the past, PR depended on controlling the message, which brought in associations of “manipulating public opinion” or the term “spin”. Blogging as a public opinion medium, presents a message in conversation with the reader. In that sense, the blog cultivates public opinion. With increasing transparency (both internally and externally) the best approach is one of open discussion. And, here, the blog can be the ideal delivery vehicle.
- Taking control of your business’ narrative
With blogging as part of your Public Relations strategy, you have advantages. You can take control of the narrative of your business and the culture and context where your business operates.
There are many ways you can use blogging as part of your overall PR strategy. Some ways include: announcing important company news to stakeholders, staff and customers; advising customers and clients of new, improved products/services; establishing thought leadership through publishing original, regular, impactful content; turning readers into viewers by publishing images and videos; writing about the culture surrounding your products and services and publishing content to exhibit your expertise.
- Blogs can help during crisis
Should a disaster happen, a business blog provides an immediate, personalised vehicle to discuss the issue with the public. Moving away from the “spin” factor, the blog can serve as an honest and concerned pipeline directly to the public.
Keeping the public completely aware of where your business stands, and what is the future plan – helps to gain your readers’ confidence. Blogs can posted any number of times per day. You can update what is happening, during the peak of the crisis, in real time. The business can regain public trust, by addressing the issues openly and honestly. Concerned customers and the general public will view the blog as giving the straight answers, so that the general public will leave your blog, feeling that they have been provided with straight answers. Thus, speaking directly to those affected by the disaster will strengthen the reputation of your company.
- Getting up close and personal
Perhaps the single most powerful aspect of blogs in PR, is the “personal” aspect. The conversational voice, found in blog postings, establishes a rapport with the blog’s reading public. The blog writer provides a personal link to the company and develops trust among the various reader groups – with current and prospective customers and clients. That personalisation will not only attract loyal readers, but adds a human touch too. People prefer to buy and do business with people whom they know and trust. Yes, a blog develops and nourishes that trust aspect.
- Enhancing perception of honesty
What changes the perception of ‘spin’ entirely, is the ‘openness’ of a blog. As Marshall McLuhan put it, “Perception is reality”. In other words, what we perceive to be true is real in our own thoughts. A blog can enhance that perception of honesty. With that open approach, lacking the traditional tightly-controlled message, trust in the company is enhanced, which translates into more lifelong customers and clients.
There are additional benefits to blogs, too. As a search engine optimisation vehicle that requires minimal additional effort, blogs are ideal. When the blog is added to a site, search engine optimisation benefits are enhanced. And, thanks to your blog, your site will rank prominently, in media’s searches.