I WRITE FOR HIRE. Many of those who read my words know I am paid to write for Irish newspapers, that my employer links to my online writing, and that companies located in a five county region of Ireland often get their services profiled or their product lines explained as a function of what I write. On many occasions since 1984, I have been paid to speak in front of audiences who paid to sit in front of me. Some people might be horrified to know that I not only engage in the practise of monetising my keystrokes as a ghost writer but that I train third level students to follow my lead under their own bylines as part of an accredited third level curriculum. I don't mind the occasional sniping remarks because I'm into accredited freelance journalism, personal blogging, community podcasting and personal video productions for the long haul. I need people to follow me, pay tax on their earnings and fund my retirement pension with their contributions to the Irish Exchequer. Most of these creative graduates will not work for a PR firm but they will have their own communications skills to promote their message to a wide public. With those facts as my baseline, I have some opinions about how the Irish PR community should embrace blogging. The short answer: I believe PR professionals in Ireland should read weblogs and should offer newsfeeds to sections of their websites that contain press releases. Damien Mulley raises five follow-on questions that deserve consideration as well.
1. How would you want to be approached by PR companies? I like simple e-mail announcements, text message reminders of events from well-meaning handlers, and hard copy promotional literature that can be used to enter venues for product launches.
2. Should they blog and you can information from them that way? I believe PR companies should read weblogs and they should offer newsfeeds to the sections of their websites that contain press releases. Moreover, PR companies representing government agencies should encourage their clients to do the same.
3. Would you be interested in press releases? I have six active e-mail addresses and five of those addresses get press releases throughout the week. It's unusual for a day to pass without receiving a press release from someone in Europe or the Americas. Nowadays, I also get some of this communication through Facebook and that's starting to irritate me because I cannot manage Facebook information without going inside Facebook itself.
4. Would you be interested in free trials of various things that they are sending out? Free trials interest me only if I have the time and expertise to break, rip or shred the things offered for review. In the case of electronic technology, the field I most frequently engage my services, I drop the test gear on carpet at least once and splash Guinness on the surface of the operating equipment as part of my product reviews. This normally reduces the life expectancy of the products I review and the devices enter the gadget bin of a storage cabinet used to train local Transition Year students in creative multimedia applications.
5. Would you take ads from their clients or do paid blog posts? No, unless they represent a charity directly associated to causes affecting me and my family (i.e., research into cancer and three other debilitating diseases, animal rescue, or youth activity programmes).
All of these topics receive considerable airplay during well-respected podcasts in the business communication, management, marketing, and public relations space. They are also covered as practical examples during the Public Relations, Mass Communications and Media Studies modules in the creative multimedia degree programme at Tipperary Institute. It is good that Damien Mulley is focusing attention on these core communications principles as well. This discussion may percolate over into CreativeCamp, set for Kilkenny on Saturday, 8 March 2008.
Damien Mulley -- "How should PR companies engage with Irish bloggers?"
Tom Murphy on blogging.
Piaras Kelly -- "The PR industry needs to use social media to develop rather than to simply make money"
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Ronnie Simpson has a sorta dormant blog.
Rosemarie Meleady on planning weddings.
For Immediate Release. Perhaps the most definitive PR podcast and weblog in the realm of corporate communications.
Inside PR offers a Canadian touch with a global perspective.
JD Lasica covers social media exceptionally well, including the darknet corners of online communications.
Joseph Jaffe gets more product to pimp than any other podcaster or marketing promoter on this planet.
Marketing Over Coffee tells you more about social media in 20 minutes than you will learn in two days on Twitter.
Mitch Joel has graduated from rock and roll journalism to brand democratisation and social media with his blend of message management that sits well with an Irish audience.
Canadian Podcast Buffet gives me practical ideas about communicating effectively through the use of electronic equipment.