Public relations is a field that is focused on building relationships, motivating individuals to act on behalf of what they are thinking, learning and helping others understand why something is important and should be supported. One of the greatest tools we possess to achieve such objectives is storytelling. The simple act of expressing a narrative in a way that fosters engagement and shows the humanness behind these causes creates emotional responses from readers and helps those relationships grow. Blogs started as “online diaries,” but they are also one platform of storytelling that can be extremely useful in public relations.
Blogs can be simple and informal. Many adventure-seeking, young people create blogs to tell stories and share photos of their travels. Blogs can also be rich in specialized content and presented in a formal way, directed towards a more professional or targeted audience. As a tool in public relations, they can be used to spread information about a cause, organization or product through building trust and not blogging with the sole intent of making a sale. Telling stories or seeking to use the blog as a platform of education and tool to showcase expertise on a topic will increase engagement and give readers a reason to come back.
According to CP Communications, blogging helps disseminate the narrative of an organization and gives more information for media to use and in turn increase third-party endorsement. Blogs can be used to share news and information which the organization believes is important. They are also a more personal platform and opens doors for authentic, two-way communication. Blogs can be an excellent tool for obtaining feedback through engaging appropriately with comments on the platform.
Blogs and their influence should not be overlooked! Our world has a strong focus on digital platforms, as well as stories and creating connections. Blogs simply marry the two values! They are a way to share meaningful content in a way that feels genuine and can be accessed easily and repeatedly. They open doors for creatively helping people and presenting information to supporters in a way that is engaging and memorable, which is what public relations is all about!
Erin Smith is a junior from Anderson, Indiana, majoring in public relations and minoring in writing. Erin is an associate with Fifth Street Communications®, a student-run public relations agency at Anderson University.