Blogs matter

Thanks to all of you who participated in my survey about the importance of blogs in public relations!

Here is my presentation of the results (runs about 19 minutes).

If you quote this presentation, you can use the following citation:

Vorvoreanu, M. (2008). Blogs matter. Panel presentation at the National Communication Association Annual Convention, Public Relations Division, San Diego, CA.

Here are some highlights from the results, based on a convenience/viral (non-probability*) sample of 203 respondents:

Blogs matter in hiring decisions

  • Among respondents with 5+ years of experience in PR, if they had a choice between equally qualified job candidates, but one candidate had a blog and the other one did not,
    • 74% would hire the one with the blog
    • 19% would hire the one without the blog

  • Both people who blog and do not blog are more likely to hire the candidate who has a well-written, good professional blog. Among the respondents who do not write a blog themselves:
    • 57% would hire the candidate with a blog
    • 33% would hire the candidate without a blog
  • Respondents who write a blog:
    • 86% would hire the candidate with a blog
    • 8% would hire the candidate without a blog

Blogs matter for individuals

I asked PR bloggers what benefits they have derived from blogging. These were the most frequently mentioned benefits:

1. Contacts, networking, engaging with PR community (26; 34%)
2. Business benefits: jobs, clients, income, internships, speaking opportunities (21; 27%)
2. Learning, keeping current (21; 27%)
2. Gaining recognition, credibility; thought leadership; personal branding (21; 27%)
Other: Sharing knowledge (10; 13%), SEO (6; 8%)
None: 3; 3.9%

Blogs matter for the PR profession

I asked both bloggers and non bloggers how they thought PR practitioners’ blogs impact the PR field.

  • 91% of respondents said PR practitioner blogs have a positive impact
  • 6% said PR practitioner blogs have no or very little impact
  • 2% said PR practitioner blogs negative impact

PR practitioner blogs increase practitioner knowledge and move PR towards higher standards of professionalism

  • Knowledge benefits (75%):
    • Educate each other (23%)
    • Create & share knowledge & best practices (32%)
    • Dialogue & discussion (17%)
    • Unify PR field (10%)
    • Keep current (6%)
  • Professionalism benefits (18%)
    • Increase transparency; flack (9%)
    • Higher professional standards (6%)
    • Prove the value of PR (3%)

I encourage you to view the presentation so you can get more details and put these findings in context.

*Please remember that this sample is not representative of PR practitioners in the U.S. – or we don’t know if it is – so we can’t assume that these results apply to other people who did not participate in this survey.

Thanks again to all who participated and let me know if you have any questions!

How to find people to follow on Twitter

So you figured out Twitter, signed up for an account, added a nice photo and did all the basics David Meerman Scott recommends.

Now, what?

It feels awkward and lonely. Like you have a phone but no one to call. The next step is to build up your social network on Twitter. To do so, you need to find people to follow.

Caution! Before you start following people,
make sure you’ve done the things DMS recommends!!!

At the very least:

  1. have a bio & a link to your site, blog, etc.
  2. upload a personalized avatar (preferably a photo of your beautiful self)
  3. post at least 10-15 tweets. See also this guide to getting started on Twitter

Now, you’re really ready. Let’s find those people.

What kind of people? Who should you follow?

You should follow people you have something in common with. I’ll take the example of a PR student. You want to follow PR pros, other PR students, PR profs, and if your hobby is… sand castles, sand castle enthusiasts.

The principle is simple: Find 2-3 people to follow. Then:

  1. Look at the list of people they follow. If the people you’re interested in are interested in these people, chances are you’re interested in them, too. Repeat the process. For every new person you follow, or who follows you, look at the list of people they follow.
  2. [update 10/31/2009: unfortunately, this tip is outdated. You can only see @replies if you follow both people in a conversation. As Twitter adds capacity, I hope they will revert to the old model, it was the best way of finding new people to follow, IMO] Make sure you choose, in your twitter settings, to see all @ replies. Notice who the people you identified in step 1 are conversing with. Check them out by clicking their username in the twitter conversation. See what they tweet about, read their bio, check out their blog, and if appropriate follow them. Then repeat Step 1: see who they follow.
  3. twitter

  4. You probably read PR blogs. Most PR bloggers are on twitter, also. Look at their About or Contact pages, or look at the sidebars for twitter information. Look at their blogrolls to identify other PR blogs & bloggers. Then repeat step 1.

It will take you a few weeks to build your social network, but if you follow these steps, you can accumulate quite a lot of followers in a few days. Take it easy, don’t follow 70 new people every day, or they’ll think you’re a spammer. Attempt to find 5 new people to follow every day until you reach 50 or 100. Then your social network will grow naturally, you don’t have to try.

Now, if you’re in PR, the easiest thing to do it to go to PROpenMic (a social network for PR folk) and to find people there. Many people list their twitter username in their profiles.

So, let me get you started and ready for Step 1. Here is a list of some of the people I follow and I think you should, too, if you’re in PR. It’s not a comprehensive list and it’s not a TOP.. anything list. Just a list:

See also:

And since you won’t find me on any of these lists, I’m @prprof_mv.

Happy & safe tweeting!

If you’re a seasoned twitter user and want to help out, write your advice and/or twitter username in the comments.

Do blogs matter in PR? I need your help with new research project…

I’ve started a new research project about the importance of blogs for PR people & the industry as a whole.

I’ve got a favor to ask you: Would you give me 7-8 minutes to take this online survey?

If you’re a PR pro, student, educator, whether you blog or not, I need your thoughts.

I’ll share the results in academic papers and presentations, my PR Connections blog, and here.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

What does blogging teach?

[cross-posted from my teaching blog PRinciples]

I’ll be honest with you, I used to think that making students blog for a grade is a bad idea. I mean, making them put themselves out there?!

But then I realized that blogging is a necessity – and there’s no other way to learn it. Just like I teach news releases, I have to teach blogging. Just like students have to write news releases, they need to blog, too.

Some students might find out that they hate news releases. Others might find out they hate blogging. I say, it’s better to find out earlier rather than later, so they can adjust their career paths and expectations.

The semester’s coming to an end, and it all of a sudden dawned on me that blogging has taught my students some very important lessons, which will be useful even if they don’t choose to go into PR:

  • articulating thoughts and opinions
  • taking responsibility for thoughts and opinions by making them public
  • attributing ideas through linking
  • networking online, building relationships with like-minded people through commenting & linking

If you have tried blogging, can you tell me in the comments:

What has blogging taught you?

Value of Online News Releases

If you missed the Vocus webinar about online news releases, here is the recording of the session. You can also download the slides (pdf), and the executive summary of the ROI of Online Press Releases SNCR study.

The webinar includes:

  • a couple of case studies (Jiyan Wei, Vocus)
  • presentation of survey methodology and results (Jen McClure, SNCR & yours truly)
  • interpretation of results: dual role, multiple purpose of online news releases (yours truly)
  • recommendations for best practices (Shel Holtz, Holtz Communication + Technology)
  • Q & A