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Blogs – anyone can write them, anyone can read them.  Does having a blog make you a ‘blogmaster?’  Does being a ‘citizen journalist’ make you credible?  How much influence can a blog have? These are all questions that are circling in and around the blogosphere. Everyone is a publisher – is this good or bad for PR?

According to a recent study conducted by Brodeur in conjunction with Marketwire, blogs have quite the influence on media coverage.  Some key statistics include: 

–  over 75 per cent of reporters see blogs as helpful in giving the story ideas, story angles and insight into the tone of an issue
–  nearly 70 per cent of all reporters check a blog list on a regular basis
–  over 50 per cent of all reporters said that blogs were having a significant impact on the tone and editorial direction of news reporting

Blogs are now being read by more than just other bloggers. This study shows that attention is being given to social media.  

“Like any new social phenomenon, the blogosphere has become a resource for reporters, but reporters are still creating their stories by going out and developing their own ideas and talking to their sources,” says Jerry Johnson, head of strategic planning at Brodeur.  “The blogosphere’s tail is not wagging the media body – at least not yet.”

Although the blogosphere has not yet reached the point where it has complete influence over the media, it is quite possible that day will soon come.  Therefore, it is critical that we as PR practitioners engage in social media and join the conversation.  No matter how hard we try to resist this change from traditional communications, the change is here.  Social media becomes more important each and every day. 

Recently, Maggie Fox, CEO and founder of Social Media Group, an agency devoted exclusively to helping companies utilize Web 2.0,  came in to talk to our class about social media and corporate blogging.  An expert in her field, Fox stresses the importance of first listening to what people are saying about you, then join the online conversation, as blogs have the power to impact your brand and its success.  

The article, “How to make the most of a corporate blog,” by Sarah Campbell, gives a handful of useful and insightful tips about successful corporate blogging.  And, like Fox, Campbell’s first tip is to “start out by monitoring what people are saying about your company and products.” 

So why a corporate blog?  I can’t believe I’m about to do what I’m about to do, but here it goes.  Wikipedia states that “the business blog can provide additional value by adding a level of credibility that is often unobtainable from a standard corporate site.  The informality and increased timeliness of information posted to blogs assist with increasing transparency and accessibility in the corporate image.  Business blogs can interact with a target market on a more personal level while building link credibility that can ultimately be tied back to the corporate site.” 

In other words, blogs can provide your organization with credibility and a positive public image  – something that is so valuable, you couldn’t put a price-tag on it. 

Thanks wikipedia!

This month has seemed to d-r-a-g on forever.  I don’t feel like going out.  I don’t want to do my homework.  I don’t want to go to work.  I just want to do nothing.  I’ve got no motivation to do anything, ever.  I try to stay upbeat, positive and energized, but I just can’t shake the slump I’m in.

At first I thought it was just me who had somehow turned into a lazy bum, but apparently, and thankfully, I’m not the only one.  It seems that everyone I talk to feels the same way.  I ask how they are doing and the response I always get is, ‘BLAH.’ 

So, I’ve decided to look further and see what the heck is going on with everyone – and this is what I have found out:

SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as winter depression is related to the shortage of light we encounter in the winter months.  This shortage of light causes a lack of energy to carry out daily activities.  To treat SAD, there are various light therapies you can undertake, however, are time consuming and expensive.

There is an actual medical condition for what we are all going through.  Who knew the amount of light you get can affect your mood so greatly?  Remind me never to move to the Arctic!

If light therapy isn’t your thing, here are a few helpful tips on fighting the winter blues:

  • Learn something new.  It should help take your mind off the blues.
  • Curl up in front of the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa and a good book.
  • Get together with friends and have a night at home – veg out and have fun doing it (board games are always great).
  • Catch up on renting all those movies you’ve always wanted to see
  • Pamper yourself with a day at the spa – a massage is a must
  • Go shopping!  All stores are clearing out their winter stock and the deals are a steal!
  • Get outside and enjoy the snow – have a snowball fight with friends or go skiing – it’s a winter wonderland out there!
    1. Or you can take a page out of the bear book and hibernate for the winter, but

      somehow, in the city, I don’t think that will work out so well!

    public relations n.pl. 1 the work of presenting a good image of an organization, person, etc., to the public

        So, I am a post-graduate student at Centennial College studying Corporate Communications and Public Relations.  Seeing as it is a post-grad program, my peers and I have all graduated from college or university.  We are all mature individuals who are soon to be entering the “real world,” or are we?

         I’ve included the definition to public relations from the Oxford Canadian Dictionary because it is the field we are all vying to enter.  Soon enough when we have graduated from Centennial, our job will be , as Alan Chumley of Hill & Knowlton stated, “to project and protect your client’s reputation.”  But what about our own reputations now?  

         Alan was a guest speaker this afternoon in one of our classes and was great.  Charismatic, informative, funny.  I think I can speak for the class when I say that we all walked away with a great impression of Alan Chumley.  But I wonder what Alan’s opinions of us were.  For the most part, I believe we came across as being mature, interested and well-mannered. 

         However, with that being said,  there seem to be a handful of people who fail to realize that when a guest presenter is speaking, you listen.  Do people really think that whispers can’t be heard or that the clicking of the laptop keyboard is silent???  It is not only a bad reflection on the individual but on our class, our teachers and our school. 

         I don’t mean to attack, but it is something that is quite bothersome.  I think a reality check is in order.  Think about your personal image and the type of PR you are putting out for yourself.  Your day-to-day attitude and etiquette is of the utmost importance, ESPECIALLY in our field.