Note: This post was originally published at NakedPR.com / SocialRealist.com and was moved to BizAmmo upon that blog’s retirement.
Blogs can be used in marketing, to share information, and can even be a viable online business opportunity on their own. There are also public relations benefits of blogging. Here are a few:
Key Audience Reach
PR is all about getting your message in front of your target audience(s). When you build a blog effectively, and update regularly with information members of those key audiences actually want to read, you build a reader-base and subscriber-base. Then, during your PR campaigns, your blog becomes a vehicle to placing your message directly in front of members of that audience, with no added cost and very little time involved.
Niche Media Reach
While press release distribution is still the most effective way to get your news in the hands of interested journalists, if your company has any kind of following, you can also release news information on your blog. Even smaller companies and webmasters can take advantage of news blogging to attract pickups from smaller media outlets and coverage on niche blogs which they may not think to target otherwise.
You no longer have to wait for a lengthy evaluation process. If you have good audience reach through your blog and enable comments on each post, you can receive reader response quickly, and alter your message or campaign objectives if you need to.
Business blogging provides an inexpensive and instant outlet for professionals to write on issues in their industry. Similar to building your reputation as an expert in a niche in print and broadcast media (using op-eds, features, etc.), a blog lets you associate your name and thoughts with larger subjects affecting your company, your peers, and your audience. If you give quality information and opinions on a regular basis, you may reap the same benefits of having journalists and bloggers contact you directly in the future for commentary on similar issues.
If a crisis does occur (whether that be an explosion at a manufacturing plant to a major website being hacked and making user data public), executives can immediately respond to concerns, post information about pending news conferences, and more without typical “spin” associated with PR. A blog allows you to get your message out transparently, and you can include a call to action to help others spread the word for you. Addressing crises quickly can head off speculation and accusations that you’re trying to deny or hide something. Build trust with your readers through your blog from the start, and your crisis response will carry more weight in the minds of your audience.
Blogs aren’t just for journaling or making a quick buck online. While a company’s PR strategy shouldn’t revolve solely around blogging, blogs are a valuable tool in the growing online public relations trend.