In Day Four of SPRB’s Sports Blogging 101 series, I wanted to address why you should blog personally and/or professionally. While I realize that blogging is not for everyone, I strongly encourage sports PR professionals to consider blogging on either a personal or professional level (or both).
Why start a personal blog?
- Builds your personal brand by demonstrating your knowledge and experiences regarding the topic
- Improves your writing (via DailyWritingTips)
- Helps you with your blogger outreach as a PR pro
- After blogging for at least a couple of weeks, you’ll start to understand the mindset of a blogger.
- You’ll see how much work it takes to craft a new post and what types of things the blogger has to do to promote his/her blog.
- Your personal experience will make your pitches to bloggers more effective because you’ll have a better idea of what they want.
- Plus, you’ll make new connections with bloggers and you never know when one may become beneficial for work.
- Improves your position in a Google search.
- If you are writing about the field you want to work in like sports marketing or sports PR, Google searches for those terms will lead to you.
- While you won’t be on the first page early on, your position in searches will improve the more you write and develop your blog.
- You want your name and personal brand to be heavily associated to the field you want to work in. For example, I hope to have my name (Christy Hammond) associated with sports PR because of my career aspirations. I hope this blog will help me in that pursuit.
When I say personal blog I am not referring to only diary-type weblogs, rather I mean any blog on any topic that you create and write for because you want to. If you want to work in sports PR or already do, you could start blogging about sports business news (either generally or in a more specific niche). You could focus on a PR niche or sports marketing. You can make it whatever you want it to be about.
Just remember to stay professional because you want your blog to help you in your career — not result in a firing because of an inappropriate comment you made in your blog.
Why start a corporate blog?
Corporate blogs obviously should not be started up on impulse like a personal blog could. If you are representing your team or organization, you’ll need to seek approval from the appropriate individuals first. But why would you and your organization want to run a blog?
- Builds your company’s brand
- A blog can help to humanize a brand and raise awareness of the brand.
- In addition, a human touch can help consumers/fans better trust your brand.
- Engages your fans
- Sports blogs are popular because fans want to banter about a trade or signing, rethink a scenario, and discuss last night’s game.
- A corporate blog for a sports team gives fans a chance to talk directly to the organization. Now will a comment made on a blog result in a trade or a different tactic during a game? Obviously not. However, the chance to vocalize complaints to the organization or brainstorm trade scenarios before the trade deadline engages fans.
- When I blog for the Red Wings’ official blog, I try to ask a question in each post or every other post. Examples of questions that I’ve asked to engage readers and generate comments include: Who should the Wings go after during free agency? We think Nick Lidstrom is a safe bet, but who else would you like to see in the HHOF out of the team’s current lineup? What is your prediction for the outcome of the Detroit-Anaheim series?
- Fosters a community
- The Red Wings’ blog has a feature called Around the Rink that goes up every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning. Basically, I go around the hockey media and blogosphere and recap all the news and opinions that Red Wings fans would want to hear.
- I do not limit links to print media. I include links to blogger’s comments (the good and the bad unless they are profane in the post) and as a result we show the bloggers that we are reading what they are talking about. It also increases the likelihood that the bloggers will link back to the corporate blog.
- Allows you to get your message out instead of trying to send it through the media
- Improves SEO
- Search engines like to see new content created frequently. As a result, they reward dynamic websites in their search results.
- While most team websites are updated daily or at most weekly (and thus SEO isn’t a huge concern), a corporate blog provides another avenue to build SEO and generate fresh content for fans to read.
- Outside of time and the salary cost of the employee(s) running the blog, it’s a cheap way to do all of the above.
Once you’ve decided to start a corporate blog, here are some helpful links to get it up and running:
- Practical Guide to Starting a Corporate Blog (Social Media Explorer)
- Top 5 corporate blogging mistakes and how to avoid them (Web Ink Now)
- Getting the Most out of Your Corporate Blog (Online Marketing Blog)
- The Big List of Big Brand Corporate Blogs (Blogwrite for CEOs)
- Six Tips for Corporate Bloggers (BusinessWeek)
A blog is not for every company or every person, but it is something you and your organization should consider. More and more sports teams have created blogs, but the people behind the blogs have varied from team to team. For some organizations, the new media or PR department is behind the blog. Other teams have players blogging for them or someone in their broadcast department. It’s up to you and your team to determine the best fit.