Should in-house PR people be blogging?

19May08

Lewis Webb Social MediaA few days ago, there was a twitter conversation about the relatively few number of in-house PR professionals that are active bloggers. Some of the key thoughts were:

  1. Agencies and freelancers can use blogs to build reputation, and make themselve more employable to future clients. After all, if you’re going to hire someone to manage your reputation in social media, it makes sense that they can manage their own.
  2. In-house PR execs can be more tied down by business, bureaucracy and a certain way of thinking.
  3. My argument that agencies are hired because they push the boundaries. It’s not like having a blog is particularly out-of-box thinking these days, but countless meetings where I’m rolled in as the “online expert” lead me to think that digital PR teams perhaps overestimate the knowledge and ability of some (very clearly SOME) in-house PR teams when it comes to social media.

Caught up with massively important things like messaging, internal comms, linking in with marketing and sales, business planning and other elements of an organisation, Jed Hallam compares an in-house PR team, to Olympians. Not necessarily competing in the same sport as their fellow athletes, but all striving for a common goal. In comparison, agencies are compared to a football team, where star-quality is key. Agencies are forced to be creative, to out-bid the competition and to deliver results, and that is why in-house teams often choose to outsource those functions of a press office.

Agency bloggers writing on a team blog or individually, as part of their profile building for potential clients, use different elements of their working life to draw information and ideas for their posts. Surely then, the analogy stands that in-house PR folk should be looking at their complete team of Olympians to see if they have anything collectively worth saying – drawing on different elements of their working life and the organisation’s collective personas. So yes, in-house PR people should be thinking about blogging, but only after considering if their organisation benefit more from a team blog than one purely about PR life at company X?

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5 Responses to “Should in-house PR people be blogging?”

  1. 1 MDC

    Actually, can you raise some good examples? I would love to see that. Cheers,

    MDC

  2. @Lewis, I’m glad you’ve raised this subject again and thank you for mentioning my analogy – even if it is somewhat flawed (aren’t all?)!

    I’m beginning to think that there are inherent differences between the two types of PR. Perhaps agency and in-house staff differ by personality? Or by ambition? Or maybe by team ethic? I’m not throwing accusations, just trying to play devils advocate…

    @MDC, I think I might be an example of someone who began in in-house but will end up agency side!

  3. 3 Lewis

    @Jed thanks for your comment – it’s hard to say there are hard and fast rules or characteristics for either agency or in-house, it’s more of an observation. There are examples of in-house PR people that are throwing themselves into social media, Kerry Bridge at Dell Europe is one example.

    @MDC as far as team blogs go, the Innocent link is a good – if frequently used – one, as well as Google team blogs and Direct 2 Dell. Southwest Airlines has a team blog, but the posts could be a little shorter (as could mine!)


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