Tips for corporate blogs, benchmarks, and more

Corporate blogs offer a great branding opportunity, while also leveraging internal expertise to show leadership, says Jeff Werner, communications director at WebVisible.

Corporate blogs
What are some tips for using corporate blogs?
Corporate blogs offer a great branding opportunity, while also leveraging internal expertise to show leadership, says Jeff Werner, communications director at WebVisible. It's generally not a good idea to heavily influence content in order to preserve the free-flow information quality that makes blogging so valuable, but there are some things you can do to meet your branding goals.

“One tip is to publish an internal blogging standards guide,” Werner says. “It's not about controlling the message, but creating a common framework to build on.”

The guide should designate an editor who is responsible for ensuring the posts meet company standards.

“Include an overview of what your brand stands for and the most important messaging points for key stakeholders,” he adds. “[This will] help create a common lens through which the organization sees the world, as well as how you'd like to be viewed.”

On-site recordings
What is the benefit of an on-site recording for an audio news release or radio media tour?
The most important benefit of on-site event coverage is connection. Radio is the perfect medium for local spokespeople to talk with local reporters, explains Susan Apgood, president of News Generation.

“Reporters get a local focus from a national story, providing them with the content to connect with their audience,” she says. “And spokespeople get to share information on the impact of the event and what it means for people back home.”

When a member of an association attends an event, it provides a great opportunity to relay the feel of the event to those back home, and gives listeners information about how their local interests are represented.

“On-site radio recordings and interviews help to position spokespeople as ambassadors for an issue,” Apgood adds.

Benchmarks
Why are benchmarks important when measuring PR?
Benchmarks provide context, says Chelsea Homan, project manager at Prime Research. Without context, the metrics used in PR measurement are mere numbers in a vacuum.

“Comparing measurements across various time periods and against competitors allows a PR professional to track performance over time, identify emerging trends, view a complete picture of the competitive landscape, and adjust strategies and goals,” she says.

Fifty media mentions in one month might seem like a success, but could be below the competitive average, or fall short of the volume of coverage generated over the same period the previous year, Homan points out.

“Once you've seen the numbers in a broader context, you can move beyond using PR measurement to reflect just what happened... why it happened, and what you can do about it,” she says.

Send your questions to: toolbox@prweek.com. Please contact Beth Krietsch if you are interested in contributing to PR Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.

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