As a social media specialist, the number one question I get asked is: How do I blog? I show them how WordPress works, or whatever blogging platform they’re using, explain that it’s really as simple as using a word processer, but 90% of the time they respond with: Yes, but what do I write about?
So, I’ve put together this simple guide to help PR people and other comms professionals write blog posts.
I’m going to take a leap of faith and assume that, because you’re undoubtedly a highly competent executive, you like to keep yourself informed of important developments by reading the trade media.
You might have noticed that when you read articles about events and issues in your industry that sometimes clouds of words start to form in your head. These are what experts call “opinions” or “ideas”. Try to practice thinking like this as often as possible, but be careful not to over-exert yourself.
You might like to try gentle warm-up exercises like having an opinion on something you saw on television last night. Maybe that floppy haired teenager you like got voted off the X-Factor? Maybe John Torode said something mean about Anne Widdicombe’s mango parfait on Masterchef? What kind of “thoughts” did you have when you watched the show? Did you think this was a good thing, or a bad thing, or a soul crushingly banal and facile thing?
We’re making progress, but don’t stop there! Now try to think about why these things are good or bad; how would you explain the “reasoning” behind your “opinion” to another person? What if that other person disagrees with you; how would you respond to their “argument”?
Now that you’ve practiced creating a fully formed thought in your mind, we’re ready to move to the next level.
This is the really important part; you need to find a way to get that thought out of your head and onto your computer. Social media experts use a tool called a “keyboard” to write down words that are in their minds so that the words can be shown on computer screens to other people – this takes some practice, but you can start slowly if you like.
Remember that because you are a “communications professional” people will expect the words you write to be spelled correctly and to follow the basic rules of grammar. You should attempt to write down your thoughts with style and clarity, so that it is easy for other people to read and understand what you are trying to say. If this is something you find difficult, you might consider advanced, special training, such as a GCSE English course at your local night-school.
So, now that we’ve talked about how to have an opinion about things and how to write English, you’re ready to start blogging!