Blogs have been gaining momentum for a few years now, and are becoming very relevant tools for public relations reps and those looking to expand their brand. There are three main characteristics that define a blog. The first is the keywords, these keywords will help the image of the company and writer by assisting the popularity in search engines. Further the social media widgets allow the blog to be quickly distributed to readers’ personal networks thus expanding the reach exponentially. Sarah Green notes in her article that blogs have a huge potential due to social media, and finding out how to get your blog in their news feed is ultimately your biggest challenge. The final component is the lack of an overt filter, the blog should feel natural rather than guided and should put a face to the writer and the writer’s cause rather than feeling scripted and planned.
Blogs are considered good public relations tools because the public gains trust and feels connected to a blog over time. Blogs lack the feeling of rigid planning that traditional PR infuses in press releases. A blog is much more of a natural stream of consciousness that puts a more personal touch on the company or individual and thus allows readers to feel as though they are getting the real facts rather than being left in the dark or mislead.
Blogs facilitate discussion with readers because they feel much more involved with the company. The blog helps to create a sense of belonging, rather than the feeling that customers only receive the well-worded messages coming out of the corporate pipeline. This is important because often times the traditional PR spin has little success convincing readers of a different perspective. As noted in Ian Felton’s article Blogs as Excellent Public Relations Tools consumers form their own ideas and are often difficult to sway, but if the blog provides a personable and honest window into the firm then consumers are more likely to look positively at the firm.
Dr. Esteban will have the chance to not only help the image of Seton Hall, but also of himself by consistently posting in a blog format. Currently the communication the public receives from the President is very regimented and predictable. The community often can expect a message during a holiday time, during a time of national tension, or when a major announcement about the school is being released. However with a blog, Dr. Esteban will be communicating with the public on a far more regular basis. This will allow him to create a deeper connection with people and allow him to feel more approachable. Further Dr. Esteban can demonstrate his aptitude and expertise in the areas he specializes in. Journalists will take note of his expertise and come to him when they want an expert’s opinion on higher learning and various industry related topics. Thus he will further his reach and promote the school’s brand simultaneously.
The target audience for this blog would not necessarily be limited to any one small group. I feel that current, former, and future students of the school would be interested in the content. As would other institutions of higher learning, journalists, South Orange residents, and parents and relatives of Seton Hall students.
These schools have already taken note of the importance of a direct line of communication with the school’s president:
Checkout this video to get Dr. Esteban started right away: