Most of the PR bloggersthat launched blogsas part of theirdegree courseslast year, didn’t keepthem updatedafter themodule ended. I don’t think you can force people to blog. People should want to blog, blogging should be something you get to do. Once you understand the benefits of blogging (Learning, Networking, Fun), it’s more difficult not to blog.
This blog gets me work. A mighty part of my freelance ambitions are dependent upon the drivel I extol here, and you deep-pocketed folk who read it. Every now and then someone will drop me an e-mail, often about something quite innocuous, sometimes those e-mail discussions become person to person meeting, sometimes those meetings turn into work opportunities. It’s an informal discussion based sales funnel.
Really though, blogging is like networking for people hate networking. It can be selling for people that are sick of playing the numbers and believe enough to forget the phone and find the keyboard – maybe even in their spare time. It’s a way of opening impregnable doors (and having some slammed permanently shut). It can be where an Account Executive can discuss a marketing campaign with a CEO or discuss PR angles with journalists.
I’ve always wanted a student out there to launch a blog with the target of getting a job at one company, say, Edelman. Imagine, a student launched a blog about trying to get a job at Edelman. Imagine regular posts the student could suggest PR/Marketing ideas for their clients, demonstrate their knowledge of the Tech/PR business and how he’s getting to know some of the staff who already work at the agency. Wouldn’t that be interesting? Would it work? I’ve no doubt it might get their attention at the very least.
Finding the time, and often ideas for content, can be a struggle. Yet between writing another blog post, and another job-application essay, I’ll pick the blog post every time. It pains me to hear of students who between University assignments, writing job applications and “living the lifestyle” can’t find the time to blog. Why not combine them? Why not blog about something you’ve just been taught at a lecture and get some broader opinions? Why not blog about careers and begin networking with people that might be able to help? Why not blog about the observations from the lifestyle? (Why do so few companies use MSN to speak to student customers?)
This medium isn’t perfect, every young PR blogger still going from a year ago has taken a backlash at some point. Stephen was criticised for creating a top 100 uk blogs list, Alex was attacked by fellow students, Chris Clarke was slated for commenting on Crayon, and I was doused in flames for this gem. It happens, it’s one of the best character-building moments you can experience (I met with TWL in London yesterday). You take the criticism, learn to handle it, and use the experience in the future.
The student blogging situation is pretty dire. It’s a pity that University’s haven’t tried giving blogging advice alongside their standard career advice. But I think it will improve. I suspect student PR bloggers are like snowflakes, the first few flakes might fade away, but in time they will stick.