5 Reasons PR Actually Starts with Your Company's Blog
Got a blog? Yeah - odds are you do. But does it make your heart beat faster, your palms get sweaty? Does it make you want to jump up and shout with joy?
Uhm…maybe not… That’s understandable.
After all, having your own blog is nothing like opening up the latest edition of The New York Times and seeing an article with your company mentioned in the first paragraph.
Now that will get you excited!
But little did you know that in all truth, getting top-quality PR from prime media outlets actually depends a great deal on what appears on your company blog. It’s a link that most people miss - and one reason (among others) that good projects fail to snag the media attention that they deserve.
This article will show you why you really nee to invest time in your blog before starting your PR push.
1) It’s your identity, stupid.
Here’s a simple way to think about it. Your blog is your company’s identity.
True - there are more elements to your identity than just a blog and the simple fact of having one will not make you a superstar. But your blog is the first in-depth touchpoint for people who want to really know what you’re all about.
And this is especially important for journalists. Remember, they feel responsible first and foremost to their readers. On the one hand, they are responsible for sharing news and information that readers didn’t know about before. On the other hand, they want to write about something that has substance.
When journalists begin to dig into your story - beyond the one-paragraph pitch they received about your project - they will want to know:
Who are you? Who is the team?
What is your mission?
What is your progress?
Are you for real?
These are all questions that you as a company can and should be addressing through the content on your blog. And they are exactly the questions that media want to know too.
For all the word-smithing that you can do with a press release and well-honed media pitch, no boilerplate text will tell your company’s story as well as the overall picture you deliver through your own content.
2) Transparency, transparency, transparency
Another way to look at your blog is as a “window into your soul.” For personal bloggers this is a given; they often blog about personal views and experiences.
This kind of transparency is also critical to companies - especially startups working with cutting-edge (read: new and little-understood) technology. By giving insights not just into what the product is or will be, but also the everyday workings of your team, partnerships, development challenges etc, you provide a transparency that translates into trust.
And remember - you need journalists to trust you in order for them to write about you.
If you are a blockchain startup planning to launch a token offering, this is paramount. Like it or not, scammers and bad actors have given your kind a bad name - at least among some members of the media.
To counter this, you need to embrace radical transparency. That starts with your blog.
One additional point to bear in mind: not all articles in the press are written about one, single company.
In fact most are not.
In today’s world of digital media, journalists are often tasked with writing longer form content that focuses on a topic or issue - sometimes controversial. When that happens, they look for people with experience or a valid opinion on the subject at hand.
By using your blog to position yourself as a thought leader on the area your company is working in, you increase the chances that you will be approached to offer comment on such articles - whether the contact comes through your PR firm or from a reporter directly.
3) SEO matters
Transparency - and authority. You’d be surprised how much these two factors influence your ability to successfully pitch yourself to journalists.
The second point - as mentioned above - comes into play when you have the opportunity to speak about a subject not directly related to your company, but also to your industry as well.
And this is where SEO comes into the picture. Yes - SEO, the same thing that makes Google like you and pushes your website up in search results.
Why is this important for PR?
Well, as pointed out already, journalists will often turn to their PR contacts when researching a story. Depending on whether or not that PR professional is working for you, you may get recommended as a source.
Quite often, however, the PR firm doesn’t necessarily have a range of clients who could provide commentary on every burning issue of the day. In this case, guess what - he or she turns to Google to find a suitable source.
And bingo - SEO matters.
Of course, the same goes for those cases where a journalist can’t find a PR firm to connect with. Then, your blog (with relevant content) may be the first and only chance for you to be found and eventually quoted in a news story.
Lesson: SEO always matters.
4) Pitch(er) perfect
Another way to look at your blog is like a testing ground.
Every time you write a post - whether it be technical-, team- or business-focused, you are practicing your pitch.
Of course, you would be foolish to take an amalgamation of all the content you have every produced and drop it into an email to a reporter.
Let’s not get carried away here!
But - in the normal course of a company’s development - it is not unusual that your first big PR splash (see below) will come sometime after you’ve been operating for six months or so.
And over that period of time, you should have been articulating your value proposition, your unique selling points and your overall company story in at least 2-3 blog posts per month.
By the time you push out your first big press release, you should be able to define EXACTLY what it is you do and why. And this is what journalists want to know (much like investors).
One important KEY: don’t just produce blog posts to practice writing. You absolutely must put them in the hands of real people who are unassociated with your company.
Where should you get published?
Besides traditional media, there are a range of specific crypto publications that startups should aim for.
Here are a few…
This way you can test and refine your message with honest feedback.
It will be worth its weight in gold.
5) The big splash
Now comes the moment, you’ve been waiting for - the first big announcement, the first approach to top-line media.
This IS exciting - heart-racing, palms-sweaty, big-silly-grin exciting!
But let’s say you managed to get to this point without much of a blog at all.
It’s not likely - but possible.
There is one more reason you will be kicking yourself for not having one - right at this moment.
For all the pomp and pizazz of having your company in a high-profile media publication, you will eventually want all those people who read the article to come to your website and (hopefully) become your customer.
So - question: how will they do that?
Most news articles do not provide back links to your website - especially tier-one publications.
When the article goes live, you’ll want to have a place to host it yourself. (Be sure, of course, to point the canonical URL to the original publication…or Google will punish you.)
Now you can push this out on your social media channels and readers will not go wandering off to some other article - they’ll land on your website.
And that’s the whole point.
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