So You Are New to the Blogosphere…

So you are new to the blogosphere, now what?

Everyone is new to blogging at some point or other, but how do you get started? I started my blog a little more than a year ago and I never imagined I would ever get any hits on it. That has changed and it has a lot to do with things I have learned through my own experiences and reading other blogs.

The following are some tips I have for those of you who are new to blogging or want to jumpstart your blog again.

  • Make a plan. The first year I started my blog I did not really have a plan for it. My goal was to get a few posts up a month, but nothing far beyond that. When I decided to buy my domain name and attended Real World PR for the second year in a row, I decided to make a plan and be more serious with my blog. Maybe it took spending money on a domain name, or attending a conference two years in a row where they stress the importance of social media, but I now have a plan for my blog. In your plan, decide what you want to base your blog on and create topics you would like to write about. I suggest this to anyone starting out. It really helps!
  • Research. As PR students we already know the importance of research. When it come to blogging this is no different. See what other PR students and professionals are doing with their blogs and what they are writing. Along with this research you will create a list of blogs you will read daily or weekly.
  • Network in the blog world! Almost everyone is on Twitter, and there are Twitter chats for almost everything. One of the first few chats I was ever in is #blogchat. This Twitter chat has helped me network with other bloggers and get a lot of questions I had about blogging answered. While there are a wide range of bloggers that participate in this chat, you can still find a lot of useful help by participating. If you really want to network with bloggers that are interested in the same topic as you, find a hashtag that fits you. #PRStudChat introduces me to a lot of PR students who are interested in the same field as me and blog about similar topics.
  • Comment on other blogs and share posts. To me, this is very important. Read other blogs and join in on the discussion in the comments. This is a great way to get your name out there and show that you are not just promoting your blog, but other blogs as well.

What are other tips you have for starting bloggers?

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Research, Research and More Research.

In the past year I have come to realize how important researching truly is, especially in the PR field.

When I first came to college I was a music education major, but after my first semester decided I love music but teaching it is not for me. I went undeclared for a semester and stumbled upon public relations. While I did not know a lot about it, I soon discovered through research what it is. I also got hands-on experience before I even changed my major to PR while I was a stage manager for a play my theater teacher was directing. Needless to say, here I am today, very passionate about my major and very sure with what I want to do with my life.

The point of the rant I just went on about changing my major is that while I was a music major my professors did not say how important research is, while in PR research is one of the most important things you can do and professors stress that to me all of the time. You have to stay on top of the industry and follow the trends. This is a very competitive field, and being a college student I can gladly say I research a lot. When I run across something interesting in the New York Times or on CNN I usually dig deeper to see what I can find.

Not only do you need to research news stories, but when working with a client it is vital to research the client before you begin working with them. Know as much as you can before the initial meeting and bring questions to them. They should not have to spend half of the hour you get with them explaining what they do. Also, when applying for jobs researching companies you apply to is key. A company is unlikely to hire you if you do not even know what it is they do. Find out if they are involved with social media, what their most current projects are and so on. Impress them in the interview. They do not want to be questioned about what their company is by someone applying for a job. They want to ask you the questions!

Research, research, research! Even if you are not in public relations, research the field you are in. Stay on top of it, because nine times out of ten it changes regularly. Do not be left in the dark, research!

PR Real World Conference: Part Four.

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Session Four: Focus on Sports

During this session, Matt Garvey discussed what goes on behind-the-scenes when promoting sports teams and events.

Matt Garvey from the Chick-fil-A Bowl:

  • Know about the Graphic Design and Printing Industry. Also know about the Photography Industry to help you hire people.
  • There are 4-5 people who run just the events for the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
  • Work on the Chick-fil-A Bowl happens year-round for just three events. They have a $20 million dollar budget!
  • Garvey says, “Plan now to develop skill sets for later on.”
  • Event Management: Press Conference, Satellite Video Tour, News Release. Learn logistics and time management. You need to know every side of PR.
  • “Must be able to build relationships.” PR is about relationships (writers, editors, etc.). You need face time with these people.
  • You have got to be able to write! He says:
  • 9 out of 10 professionals can’t write that are out there.
  • You need to be able to incorporate message into the press release. Weave message (this is more of an art then a science- Garvey).
  • You need to be creative!
  • RESEARCH!
  • Garvey says hours are terrible with Sports PR. “I worked 93 days without a day off one season.” (9am- Midnight is common for hours with baseball when the team is on tour).
  • Another key point he made was the number one factor in the Bowl Game:
  • “#1 factor in Bowl Game= TEAMS! How highly ranked they are.”
  • They have to have money to get better teams.

All in all, I had an amazing experience at PR Real World Conference 2010. I learned many valuable things about the profession I am going into that I will definitely take with me wherever I may end up. If this conference happens again next year, count me in! I will definitely encourage everyone to attend.

Sky, Amanda, Lauren, Me