While browsing the business news of the day, I noticed a headline, “XYZ PR Firm Introduces Blog.” Thinking I’d perhaps misunderstood, I clicked the headline and read it again, along with the body of the press release.
As a public relations professional, I would never advise a firm in the PR industry, or any other industry for that matter, to announce that they are launching (their first) blog in 2013. While it’s not uncommon for businesses that have begrudgingly jumped on the social bandwagon to still be in the process of shaping and implementing their strategy, it would be a poor branding decision to broadcast it.
So does that mean that if you’re finally making the leap, that you’re not allowed to share it with the world? No, of course not. One of the cardinal rules of social media is that you build your online community faster when you promote that you have a social presence. However, it’s critical that you be savvy about the way you do it unless you want existing and potential clients and customers to think that you’re out of touch with the global marketplace and struggling to keep up with the pace of business technology.
So instead of saying, “hey everybody, we know we’re behind the times, but we’re finally launching a blog in 2013,” here are a few alternatives:
1) Focus on the subject of your first blog (rather than the birth), XYZ Company Unveils the Top Challenges CTOs are Facing in 2013. Remember, the goal of your blog is to position your brand as an authority and a leader.
2) Focus on a specific blog feature. Wait until you have a few posts under your belt and introduce a feature that readers can look forward to each week, like Q&A Fridays with company or industry experts.
3) Share blog links via social media channels to get the word out, and then wait until you have a post that will wow readers (like a really awesome infographic), and that would rise to the occasion of a press release.
In the end, it’s not about who mastered social media first. But it is important to at least try to not give the impression that you’ve been asleep at the wheel when it comes to social engagement if you want to be seen as competitive and influential in today’s marketplace.