Will good bloggers make good PRs?

Bryan Person, over at Bryper, is sending out a lot of love to bloggers today – me included.  I had a great conversation with Bryan over the weekend after I found his blog when I was poking around Technorati looking for new stuff to write about. 

I was delighted to see myself listed ahead of my boss at Fleishman-Hillard Toronto, Dave Jones, and took great pleasure in pointing this out to Bryan who came back with the observation that I could be due a raise.  This is going somewhere, I promise. 

Obviously that’s a non-issue and I’m being more than a little cheeky just mentioning it but I only talk about it because it did get me thinking about whether a good blogger makes a good PR person. 

Just as a lot of journalists go over to “the dark side”, by going hack to flack, a lot of (PR) bloggers are doing the same.  The transferable skills are undeniably important in both worlds. 

Good/great writing skills; ability to form relationships; knack of spotting a trend and analytical ability are vital skills in both worlds and will play an important part in getting anyone hired in the modern public relations industry.  But is it enough? 

Working in a PR agency is like being drawn in different directions by three wild horses – the horses of clients, the media and your own agency.  Some people may have all the attributes I listed but be unable to handle the pressure and stresses of agency life.  I have to admit, I’ve still not got the juggling act just right. 

Sure, if you’re writing about PR in a way that demonstrates a deeper power of thought then chances are you’ll be a great PR.  But just as a former journalist can’t guarantee his former colleagues will cover a story, will a blogger be able to lean on his network of subscribers and linkers to deliver coverage or get them to sign up to a new corporate blog? 

Seeing as I just got hired, in large part thanks to being a blogger or at least being involved in this space, I’ve no wish to bite the hand that feeds me and no desire to stop other young PR bloggers from being hired but it is an interesting question. 

Answers, as always, in the comment section. 

Do you represent a laptop manufacturer or retailer?  Do you want your logo here?  If you do, please email me!  

3 Responses to Will good bloggers make good PRs?

  1. Ed,
    I’d question a bit the order of your question: Good bloggers being good PR pros. I see blogging as a “hobby” (as some at Dell mention, and got blasted for it) because no one really blogs for his/her job.

    We do it as part of our job or in addition to our job (kind of like me, since no one at my employer really seems to be into social media. Mostly because there is relatively little client need, for now.)

    Do good PR pros necessarily make good bloggers? Like your points about the qualities, there is a lot of crossover. Of course, the key word in that question is “good.” We all know there are some bad and not-so-reputable PR pros out there that give most of us a bad name.

    Back to your question, I see bloggers as being more focused on a topic or industry, whereas PR pros should have wider interests.

    Mike

  2. Ed Lee says:

    Good point Mike (no pun intended). I was coming at the issue with the angle of ” a lot of young bloggers are getting hired for being good bloggers” rather than blogging as a hobby.

    I personally do it as both part of my job, part of my career and in addition to my job. My girlfriend would say I do it instead of paying attention her but that’s a whole different blog post!

    Thanks, as always, for stopping by!

    Ed

  3. Perhaps the question should be – are those who are unaware of Blogs bad PRs?

    The straightforward answer is, of course, no.

    But if we think about it, we are in the communications business (although I’m sure not everyone would use that title.) It is therefore our jobs to know about and monitor all methods of relation to the public (geddit?). PRs who don’t know about blogging and don’t further their education will of course be at a disadvantage.

    I don’t mean that everyone should start a blog, but that we as PR professionals should be constantly educating ourselves to provide our clients with the best service that we can.

    As for ‘will good bloggers be good PR people’. As a blogger (and someone looking for a job) I want to say ‘yes! Of course! (and now hire me!)’ But as with many things I think blogs can help, but not in every circumstance.

    Anyway, you stay classy Mr. Lee.

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