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Peter's Blog

Blogging, a powerful public relations tool

Posted on August 19, 2016 at 12:50 AM

Today I recieved news of the passing of a long time friend and former business partner. I've spent a lot of time today reflecting on our friendship and business venture, Strategic Communications Solutions. We had a lot of fun over the years, especially when we were conducting media training or giving seminars. Colin could always roleplay the toughest journalists. If clients could survivie a mock interview with him, they surely would be okay in the real world.

As part of reflecting today, I've been looking back on some of the work we did together and some of Colin's writing. Below is a post that was originally on the Strategic Communications Solutions website about the power of blogging. I think many of the points that Colin makes are still relevant today. A fitting tribute to a friend, colleage, business partner and all-round great communicator.

Blogging, a powerful public relations tool

By Colin Reade

Blogs are growing both in number and influence every day. Like letters, they are personality driven. However, unlike letters, they also generate conversations between groups, generate discussion and invite feedback. The potential for blogging’s influence in the corporate sphere is just beginning.

Without the Internet and blogs, we might never have found out about some of the news stories that have defined the new millennium. The Abu Ghraib scandal broke on blogs; bloggers gave us first hand accounts of Hurricane Katrina as she crashed down on New Orleans; bloggers were first to expose the holes in the Liberal Party of Canada’s election campaign in 2006.

Further enforcing the significance of blogs, a number of bloggers have been hired by mainstream media outlets. For example: Baghdad blogger Salam Pax has been hired by The Guardian to write a column.

Businesses are increasingly moving to blogging and monitoring of blogs to find out about consumer preferences and feedback on their products – replacing traditional surveys.

Detailed surveys can take months to compile, summarize and analyze. Groups of 40 or more persons would be questioned one-on-one in order to measure their thoughts and perceptions. The results were then used to drive marketing and communications strategies.

Today, blogs can provide the same benefit, but are a more efficient and cost effective means of gathering information.

Consider, for a moment, Bob Lutz of General Motors. Over 10,000 respondents have expressed their opinion of GM and GM products on his Fast Lane blog. Just think how long it would have taken to survey these people. GM is able to get the information from their blog in real-time and it’s totally unfiltered!

In addition to being a great way to collect data and feedback, blogs are effective in establishing thought leadership, building deeper communities and creating stronger customer relations.

Categories: Public Relations, Corporate Communications

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