By Tracy Schario, APR
A decade ago, many public relations practitioners were struggling to explain to clients the definition of a blog and why interviewing with a blogger, in addition to journalists, was important to build third-party credibility for a company, product or executive.
Today, corporate and executive blogs are commonplace among the nearly 200,000,000 or more blogs vying for readers. Blogging is a proven PR tool to build thought leadership and establish an individual as an issue or industry expert.
During a PRSA-NCC luncheon May 15, marketing expert Geoff Livingston shared his perspective on blogging for thought leadership, a practice he calls being a “nanopundit.” Not exactly flattering given that nano means “billionth.”
People blog and use social media because it “allows you to circumvent traditional channels,” said Livingston. The challenge to building an audience is to carve your niche and demonstrate your experience.
“Don’t tell people simply what to do or how to do something,” he explained. “Show people through tales of experience and work.”
Livingston, a former journalist, has advised Fortune 500 companies, including AT&T, eBay, Ford and Google, on content marketing and thought leadership. He is also the author of three books on social media and marketing.
“Tip posts are easy,” he continued. “Readers are attracted to your blog when it’s grounded in experience.”
Based on his experiences, Livingston shared five tips to establish thought leadership through blogs or other social media channels.
- Read a lot. Subscribe to everyone who's talking about your subject. It forces you out of isolation. When you know what everyone is saying, then you can own the nano niche.
- Pick channels selectively and do it well. LinkedIn is ideal for B2B. I do Google+ and Twitter. If you do too many social media channels, it will eat you alive. Don't burn out. Go home and enjoy your life.
- Lead by example. Do the work. Don't just talk about it.
- Lead through service. It makes a difference when people see you giving to the profession or community.
- Don't let up once you become nano famous. Don't let success go to your head.
This luncheon was hosted by the chapter’s 20+ LeaderPack, an exclusive forum for senior level professionals with at least two decades of experience to build relationships, offer support, and jointly address common challenges and concerns.