How do I identify a popular blog?


PR blogger Chris Norton has prepared an interesting list of tips to help determine how influential a blog is. Please check out his post which is backed up with years of having done this for clients but in essence they are:

1. How many comments does it get?
2. Check the site’s page rank
3. How many people are linking to it?
4. Check its Alexa ranking
5. Check its Technorati rating

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Have you checked your Twitter page rank?

Google page rank


I read a very interesting post on Andrew Bruce Smith‘s blog about how most people don’t realise that they have a home page with a high page rank. I have been working on this blog for almost two years now and have spent many hours writing and sharing some of my thoughts.

I also have a Twitter account which I also love but spend far less time populating. So it came as a bit of a surprise when Andrew highlighted that the page rank for your Twitter page could be higher than your blog. Surely not but upon investigation I found that this was actually true.

As he says in his blog, most people will have achieved this without even thinking about it. I certainly did.

Worth thinking about the next time a client asks you about the merits of starting a Twitter account. If you can build up a high page rank to your Twitter page you potentially have a powerful SEO tool for providing backlinks.

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How many PR professionals comment on a journalist’s blog?


I have been working on this and other blogs for a couple of years and have always found that a great way to build relationships with other interesting bloggers is to leave a comment on a post. I know from working on this one, I will always click through to a blog that has linked to me and check on them from time to time to look for an opportunity to return the compliment.

One of my favourite past times on a lazy Sunday (before Mae was born and these became a distant memory) was to flick through my blog roll and catch up on what the good and the bad from our industry were up to.

One of the things I always tried to do was find journalists who blog and try and keep track of what they were up to. I know that a lot of journalists don’t particularly like this medium as they see it as giving their craft away for free but a hell of a lot use it effectively.  For example I have seen some excellent tips on how to work with the media or what they believe is bad PR practice. They are also homes to highlight work they have been commissioned to work on ahead of posting on Response Source.

That said there are a variety of journalist blogs that are totally ignored by PR people. I know how personal my blog is to me and I am sure that it is exactly the same with journalists.

What better way is there to understand exactly what interests them (or doesn’t), what they like to write about or who they write for? A blog will give you all of this information and allow you to build a relationship with a journalist ahead of pitching something for your client.

I know that I am more likely to answer an email or a call from a familiar name quicker than a stranger and by commenting on a journalists blog you can start to build this relationship. The relationship should be a two way thing or you risk being named and shamed by those in the media fed up receiving spam mails from faceless PR professionals.

I understand that there are a lot of pressures on our time but I genuinely think that if you have 10 journalists who are important to you, it doesn’t take much effort to read their blogs once a week and provide some comments. By investing this small amount of effort I believe the rewards can be priceless.

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Why do so few PR professionals blog?

Similar to most people I was very lucky to get a load of books for Christmas and am slowly working my way through them. Two of them –Bit of a blur by Alex James and Gonzo the life of Hunter S Thompson by Jann Wenner and Corey Seymour – have been writen in a style that reminds me of blog writing. Instead of chapters there are a series of posts based around subjects or by different contributors.

The result is that the books were both engageing and easy to read. Mainly because they got straight to the point and there is no filling just to hit word counts. I found it particularly interesting that this style of writing is becoming more prevelant at a time when so many PR bloggers are abandoning their blogs in favour of Twitter.

Writing is a skill that requires exercising and blog writing allows someone to share ideas and find their voice which is why I think it is such a shame that so many people are abandoning their blogs. I recently reviewed Matthew Watson’s top PR blog list and realised that most don’t write about PR or blog so infrequently it is hardly worth visiting from month to month.

Some of the top thinkers in our industry first tested their ideas on blogs to get input or formalise ideas before they unleashed them in fantastically successful books. Robert Scoble, David Meerman Scott and Seth Godin are just three faboulous examples of authors and thinkers who trialed ideas on their blogs before going on to release best selling books.

If these guys recognise the power of blogs and mainstream books are now copying this style of writing, why are so many UK PR professionals not bothering with this medium?

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Are you a social media douchebag?

douchebag?

This is one of the funniest blog posts I have read for some time.  The five signs that you are a social media douchebag is well worth a read. My colleague Jo Jamieson and I were chatting yesterday about the language that is used in marketing circles these days and how it is fast becoming on a par with or worse than the acronym hell that is the telecom space.

Hey man, what do you do?

I leverage insights.

No, seriously.  What’s your day job?

I put brands at the forefront of social media revolution.

Come on people, we all know you are clever but why do you have to sound like a douchebag?

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New Year resolution


My wife keeps on asking everyone we meet what their New Year resolution is and when I am asked the same question I haven’t had an answer. This morning I sat down and thought about what they should be and here they are:
Paul Stallard’s New Year resolutions
1. Secure more national coverage for my clients
2. Find time to write more
3. To leave more comments on other people’s blogs
4. Ask more questions
5. Network more

Have any of you got any New Year resolutions? If so why not put them in print and let the world see them and let them help you achieve them.

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10 qualities of a strong media pitch

Freelance journalist Alex Blyth was kind enough to take part in one of Meet the Media interviews not so long ago so I want to return the favour by trying to point you in the direction of his blog. Alex has written a great blog which lists the 10 qualities he feels makes a strong pitch based upon his experience of having spoken to many editors about what they want to see.

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