A few years ago, I decided that if I wanted to speak with clients intelligently about blogging, I better be able to walk the walk. And so, I started a personal blog that focuses on three topics that are important to me: family, fitness, and fun. I'm pleased to say that more than 700 posts later, I'm still committed to it.
I think everyone in PR should have a blog of some sort. The subject doesn't matter in the slightest. Why start a blog? Because it helps to keep your writing skills sharp, which I believe is one of the most important, yet under-recognized, aspects of PR. Speaking honestly, much of the writing I see from some of the younger folks coming out of college is disappointing. Maintaining a blog can only help.
I've had a number of interesting findings from my blog. One, I find that I can write crisp, clean copy quickly. Two, I learned that sometimes audience numbers don't matter. I have 50 to 70 daily visitors, and I would have it no other way. I know each of them individually. The group mostly consists of old friends, family, a few colleagues, and some great new people I've met along the way. Virtually everyone is a contributor in some way, and we have formed our own cool, little community. My most important takeaway is that community – and interactivity - is the key to extending a blog over an extended period of time.
My last learning? Never underestimate the value found in a blog's comments section. A perfect example is my 73-year-old father, who could not care less about the Internet's general rules of decorum. While some of his comments have made me a bit nervous, it's been trumped by the fact that he offers unparalleled humor and wisdom.
Howard Solomon is managing director of Ruder-Finn/West