Thursday, May 22, 2008

Business-Minded Blogs: Linking The Process & The Results

Rare is the person who revels in doing sit-ups. But most of us do them, at least once in a while.

Why? Because we want what sit-ups give us--stronger muscles, less flab, and the ability to smugly tell as many people as possible that we reeled off a whopping nine crunches this morning.

In short, we may cringe at the process but we treasure the results.

On a related note, I've yet to encounter a client who jumps at my advice to revive a long-dormant blog, or to start one in the first place. Usually, they justify why they can't fit it into their crammed schedule or shrug off the communication tool as the domain for techno-geeks who live only in a cyberworld, not the "real world" that truly drives their business.

But the process vs. results tension of sit-ups holds true for blogging with a business purpose in mind. While we don't necessarily enjoy it, especially when getting one started, it's the bottom-line result that bring us to the keyboard.

There are numerous potential benefits, though each benefit hinges on at least one associated requirement:

1. Establishing yourself as an authority in your field.

Requirement: That you can articulate your expertise in a compelling way.

2. Creating content that can be developed into columns, news releases and other communication that extends into "the real world."

Requirement: That your material is timely, relevant and newsworthy.

3. Developing an ongoing and engaging dialogue with your audience and peers.

This dialogue not only enables you to keep a pulse on your market's needs and interests, but it also provides the opportunity for you to influence your market's agenda in a way that benefits your organization.

Requirement: That you communicate in a manner that seeks primarily to add value to others. Self-promotion is a turn-off.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Putting the "Public" Into Public Relations

Long gone are the days when publicists needed the blessing of media outlets to get a story told to the masses.

While media coverage is a welcome development, it's hardly the only game in town.

Posting your own video content onto YouTube, as I've done is a simple, free way of connecting with large numbers of people--and it puts the "public" squarely in the middle of "public relations."

It's also an effective way of showing, not simply telling, the media about a given story suggestion. I've begun incorporating video clips with my e-mail outreaches, to help decision-makers literally see what I'm talking about.

A recent case in point was my posting videos of Scheck & Siress prosthetists aiding a 16-year-old by fitting him with a new artificial leg---his first in nine years. The links serve multiple purposes:

1. They tell the story directly to the world, without needing any intermediary's approval or being subject to any intermediary's mistakes of omission or commission.

2. They offer the media a more compelling story suggestion, and can tip them across that intangible line, from somewhat interested to very interested, which means all the difference between taking a pass on the story to passing along the story idea to the assignment producer or editor.

3. If the media pursue the story, it provides them with a resource to share with their audience, further expanding your reach via both traditional (media) and non-traditional (user-generated websites) means.

All of that being stated, it only makes sense that I offer some links to the fine work being done by Scheck & Siress, the Range of Motion Project (ROMP) and Healing the Children.

To learn more, visit and