To many people the world of social media and blogging is still, surprisingly,  very confusing and to some it’s even scary. I am often being challenged by well educated colleagues, business people and friends who ask me “Who reads these blogs? Do they work? Are they really important channels of communication? To which I have to say yes, yes and yes. How clear can I be about this without saying blogging is now as important as advertising, marketing and PR.

People are still intrigued to know, how they work and who reads them, but let’s be honest the statistics already speak for themselves with 106 million blogs already being tracked. Blogging, as an element of a PR programme, is now vital if we are to get our story out there. Its a great way for PR’s or marketer’s to accelerate their client’s messages and interact with the very people they want to communicate to.

Social media is like Ronseal, no it doesn’t creasolt your fence or turn your radiators blue but it does do exactly what it says on the tin!

Social Media is not a unique route for messages it’s an interactive tool for you to speak directly with the world about what you want to discuss.

As PRs and Marketers, we have been trying to get to these people for years through the usual routes of newspapers, magazines, mailshots and television. The real social side of communication comes into effect when these people actually start to communicate back. Let’s be honest here, comments on blogs are for people to do exactly that, provide comment! They can comment on what you have written with both positive and constructive criticism – this is their opinion – surely this is what we and our clients want. I am not one that believes the criticism should be scathing as that doesn’t really help anyone and will probably just inflate that particular criticizer’s ego but if it means we are all communicating with each other that’s got to be better, hasn’t it?

There are thousands of bloggers out there who are plying their trade, with people reading their blogs on a daily and weekly basis. It’s therefore vitally important that companies, PR agencies and marketers wise up and start addressing this if they want to stay well ahead of the game.

At my company Prohibition, we recently wrote a detailed social media programme for a well known large telecommunications company and after we had analysed their market properly for them, the statistics showed that if they followed our PR guidance, we would effectively reach easily more than 50 million people and we could actually prove it. Not only that but these 50 million people would be reading and commenting back for the first time. Surely this is a good thing, as clients and customers are getting to give feedback on the products and services they use which in turn should help them get improved.

Is blogging ‘Geeky’? – I would say no it isn’t. Granted, not everybody is doing it yet but a lot of people are now and forums are starting to fade into the abyss. You don’t have to be a geek to start your own blog, you don’t need to be Shakespeare either – you just need to have the inclination and think about what you or your client is going to say.

Is blogging Unique, to this I would say yes, every blog is unique as it has its own personality and for the first time you get to see and feel what that person is thinking about a topic, which you have found and therefore you are interested in. In other words no more trailing through useless rubbish to get to the real stuff you want.

If you are really interested in blogging check out this history of blogging which I found rather useful.

I have added a video below that will give you a few useful tips on how to start blogging. Let’s get the message out there that blogging and social media are here to stay and its time the rest of the world caught up.

About Chris Norton

Chris Norton is the founder of Prohibition and an award winning communications consultant with more than twenty years’ experience. He was a lecturer at Leeds Beckett University and has had a varied PR career having worked both in-house and in a number of large consultancies. He is an Integrated PR and social media blogger and writes on a wide variety of blogs across a huge amount of topics from digital marketing, social media marketing right through to technology and crisis management.