Author: Nick Hill

THE MANY WAYS CASE STUDIES CAN BENEFIT BUSINESS

Although a successful PR strategy is made up of many different strands of activity, they must all seamlessly come together to use effective communications to meet with the wider objectives of a business.

Whether its increasing brand awareness, educating the market on a product or launching a new service, no two PR strategies will ever be the same. Not least because the public’s expectations continually evolve.

This has been most evident throughout the past year. Amid the devastation that we have all experienced, this pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the digital revolution across the globe. By becoming a more tech-centric society, the landscape for business is undergoing a complete transformation.

Therefore, the need for concise and clear communications has never been as sought after. But as entire industries and working practices continue to change, it is important for businesses to update and archive any achievements and milestones they have reached. These are best communicated when presented as case studies.

How case studies impact a PR strategy

Although there can be a lot of time spent gathering information and insight, case studies enable businesses to showcase the work that has been carried out, the type of clients they work with and more importantly, what they are capable of delivering.

Without a doubt, they have an integral part to play within a PR strategy. Once complete, a case study can act as a marketing tool that can be used to generate new business enquiries and to educate and inform certain sectors of an organisation’s expertise within that market.

Case studies have many benefits. Not only can they act as an active record or timeline of key internal milestones, but can also highlight how significant growth targets have been achieved and clearly demonstrate how existing clients are benefiting from using a specific service or product.

They also offer businesses accountability. By sharing case studies on social media channels, on a website or via the press, businesses are providing evidence that can be used to substantiate any claims made in advertising.

With that said, the output of any case study can also be maximised if it focuses on what’s relevant and topical within a specific industry or the wider marketplace. This will ensure that, when published, it already resonates with the intended target audience.

The contents of a case study

We now operate in a data-driven world. With new technology and innovative developments changing the way we live and work. Data analysis is becoming the driving force behind decision marking within businesses at practically every level.

This is where the full potential of case studies as reliable and effective resources can be fully realised.

By showing specific metrics, whether it’s an increase in profits, meeting quarterly growth targets or expanding workforce, this set of data can help promote the effectiveness of specific products and services to prospective clients.

To further enhance a business’ successes and achievements, let the clients they already work with speak about their own experiences. Testimonials not only give further credibility to a case study, but also strengthen the overall perception of a business by having an external voice speak so positively.

Sharing success

Some companies believe that sharing case studies will provide competitors with too much information. This is very unlikely. Competing businesses are already targeting your clients, so enhancing the relationship that you have through case studies is actually a positive.

It shows that the work that was completed is endorsed by that business and that you are a reputable supplier that delivers results. Furthermore, it shows other potential customers in the same market what they are missing.

Far be it that a case study will deter a customer from contacting you, it will do the exact opposite. Using this information to support sales will redirect the resource and time taken to compiling these examples to where it matters most, converting leads.

There is nothing wrong with sharing success, both internally and with an external audience, and case studies are a great way to do just that.

If you would like to discuss the benefits of case studies for your business, get in touch with our team here. Alternatively, give us a call on 01924 862477 – we’d love to hear from you!

UNDERSTANDING THE VALUE OF DIGITAL MEDIA

As society becomes increasingly reliant on new technologies, the way we communicate with one another has arguably gone through the most dramatic evolution. No matter the type or form of correspondence, the emergence of digitalisation has given us an increasing number of ways to absorb and distribute critical information.

This is especially evident when it comes to digesting news. Traditionally, print publications and scheduled televised broadcasts have been society’s main source for breaking, regional, national and world news.

News on demand

In recent years, however, digitalisation has spearheaded an era of change. As a result of new innovations, it has become necessary for media companies to adapt to online platforms as the expectations of their audiences evolve.

In today’s world, news can be accessed instantly. With online publications providing access to a global audience, every person holding a smart phone, or any similar device, can instantly engage with these platforms.

Whether it’s via email, through an app or on social media, everyone can find the latest updates at anytime from anywhere. These are now the expectations of society and falling short of delivering this immediate engagement could be significantly damaging to press publications.

Extending reach

As well as providing benefits for the end-user, this digital revolution has also afforded many new opportunities for the press to take advantage of. Not only is moving to a digital centric model more cost-effective, agile and adaptable, but it can engage with a much larger audience.

The true value of uploading an article to a news website is simple; it can be read by anyone, at any time, in any location. More importantly, the content can then be repurposed to resonate with other members of a particular target audience.

This can be anything from the article being shared across social media channels, sent via email newsletters, or even appear as a tending topic on Google News.

Making the most of every opportunity

As PR professionals, we at Open Communications want to get the most out of the coverage we generate for our clients. Undoubtedly, there is still significant value in generating print coverage, but the opportunities within online publications are simply far greater.

As this trend continues, fighting for space in newspapers and other trade titles has never been so competitive. This has therefore made print coverage much more prestigious, and more challenging to secure. Never before has it been so important to write well, and for the audience you are targeting.

Time is of the essence

This is why we always ensure that for those still producing quality newspapers, such as The Times, The Guardian or The Telegraph to name a few, receive any newsworthy content at the exact same time as their digital counterparts.

However, as the market share of digital news platforms continues to grow, so will the opportunities to be featured on them. Whether it’s trade, regional or national digital media platforms, they need to be populated with the latest news and updates on a daily basis. Their demand needs to be met.

By providing them with the latest news and updates that are most relevant to their readership, the chances of securing media coverage significantly increase. The more coverage secured, the larger the audience is reached.

If you would like to know more about our approach to media relations, content creation or traditional PR then contact Open Comms on 01924 862477 or please visit www.opencomms.co.uk.

THE VALUE OF TRADE MEDIA

No matter the brand or business, when measuring the success of a public relations campaign, several metrics can be used as part of the evaluation. Although a PR brief can differ from one client to the next, they all arguably have the same ambition to secure as much media coverage as possible.

Making the morning headlines is one of the most effective ways to reach the largest possible audience. It provides brands and businesses with the platform to build a positive reputation, which can have a transformative impact to their overall success.

However, in order to maximise the potential benefits that media coverage can deliver, a strategic approach must be taken. Whether organisations are featured in print, online, on the radio or TV, it is not always the quantity that produces the most value, but the quality of the coverage.

This is what makes trade media opportunities so critical. Although the mainstream press will certainly have a much larger audience, targeting trade publications can potentially be more impactful and resonate with readers on a more meaningful level.

What is trade media?

Trade media titles feature content that revolves around a particular industry or profession. Their main function is to communicate information that can be influential and resourceful to those working within that marketplace.

Therefore, unlike mainstream media publications, the tone of voice and detail you find in this content can be as technical, specific, and detailed as necessary. With the freedom to cover such a wide range of topics relating to the industry in question, trade media titles offer readers an informative insight that cannot be found elsewhere.

Whether it is an interview with a leading business person, company news update, an opinion-led feature, new research or the launch of new products and services, each article will comprise the detail that is relative to the readers.

Furthermore, what makes this content all the more valuable is that the readers will have one shared interest; the industry they work in and are associated with.  This allows organisations that submit content to both communicate with their intended target audience and to build credibility by association.

Value of trade media coverage

Although securing coverage in the trade media may not reach the biggest audience, it can act as an extremely effective asset when a brand is trying to establish themselves as a serious player within the market.

These publications must be leveraged when individuals, senior teams and entire businesses want to become recognised as industry leaders and experts. Once a company’s products, services and capabilities have been regularly covered, this business will become synonymous with the industry.

As a result, a brand’s awareness will rise, a business’ reputation will grow, and its share of the market will begin to increase. Combining all these factors will ultimately help organisations of any size to attract new business and achieve their wider growth ambitions.

This is exactly why investing in a robust and bespoke public relations strategy can have wider benefits than many businesses first assume. It’s not just about hitting the headlines for the right reasons, but more about attract interest where it will have most impact.

If you would like to know more about Open Comms and how we can help secure you coverage in trade media publications, why not give us a call on 01924 862477 or please visit www.opencomms.co.uk.

TAKING A PROACTIVE APPROACH TO WORK IN LOCKDOWN

In recent months, the public have made a collaborative effort to get life back to some sense of normal. As lockdown restrictions began to ease, employees returned to the workplace, children were back in school and the economy was embarking on a long road to recovery.

This progress, however, is now at risk of coming to an abrupt halt. Although businesses across all sectors have worked tirelessly to become safe and secure, this global pandemic is once again on the rise and stricter social measures are set to be reintroduced.

Although this may be a daunting prospect for many, we must try to remind ourselves of the positive developments that have been made both in our personal and professional lives.

Among the many changes society has experienced, the biggest adjustments were most prevalent in the way we work. New technologies were embraced at a rapid rate, working practices were completely modified and entire industries underwent their own digital revolution.

Yes, the prospect of another lockdown is unwelcome, but businesses across the country are now equipped to deal with this scenario and must take with them the lessons they have learnt from the past nine months.

Communication and connectivity

The sudden shift to remote working caused widespread disruption across the marketplace. Offices became completely barren as vast numbers of employees began to work for their own homes. Although having a flexible workforce isn’t a new concept, it has never been practiced on such a wide scale and, for the most part, on a permanent basis.

A trial by fire for many, clients, customers, employees, and key stakeholders had to quickly evolve their traditional working methods if they were to ensure productivity and business continuity remained intact.

Those that were successful will have undoubtedly implemented new and innovative technologies into their business processes. This has proven to be most effective in the way we now communicate.

With physical interactions strictly prohibited, the Open Comms team for example have utilised video calling as a safe and secure alternative. Although the preference for many will always be to engage face-to-face, the enhancement of video capabilities has provided many benefits to our team. As with many workforces across the country, it has ultimately helped us to remain open for business.

With a flexible working approach, employers have been able to allocate more time to catch up with their team and other office members, whether this is through Teams, Skype or other video conference platforms.

Unexpectedly, without the usual rat race rush and time spent in a particular office, the use of technology has also enabled employees to become better connected to colleagues from different areas of the business. Not only does this create a more connected and inclusive culture, but it also promotes synergy across the company as a whole.

More importantly, many businesses have harnessed video conferencing to deliver a digital customer experience when conducting consumer to business interactions. As the behaviors of potential consumers continue to change, those hardest hit by this global pandemic must resume using video technology as a means of engaging with their customer base and selling products or services.

Mental and physical wellbeing

As we are now many months into the Coronavirus crisis, the traditional eight-hour working day is being slowly replaced with a more flexible model. Although adjustment periods can often be difficult, adapting to living amid a global pandemic has the potential to magnify all our concerns and anxieties.

When the spread of this virus initially took hold, the uncertainty that came with it undoubtedly had an adverse impact to many people’s mental states and being housebound for multiple months was also detrimental to our physical fitness.

However, we quickly learnt to take advantage of lockdown by using the extra time to enjoy life away from the office. Whether this was developing new hobbies, exercising more frequently or spending some much-needed time with our families. We must continue to make concerted efforts to stay proactive despite the threat of Covid continuing to impact our lives.

That being said, it is important to remember that no one person’s mental health will be the same, and therefore can change on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. When someone may be struggling, another could be thriving. Therefore, whether it’s business or in our personal lives, we must also be wary of the people we work and live with as further social restrictions come into play.

Although this has obviously been a difficult year, we must continue to adapt what we have learned over the past several months to improve our daily and future lives. Once this has passed, the legacy of this pandemic should see our working and personal lives be vastly improved.

THE POWER OF THE PROFILE: MEDIA INTERVIEWS

Media relations is a really important and strategic component of any press office. Whether this is online, in print, on the radio or TV, securing press coverage is an effective and efficient way of enhancing the reputation of an organisation.

Although there is nothing more rewarding than seeing clients hit the headlines for the right reasons, the full potential of securing coverage is only reached when it serves a purpose, has meaning and creates a lasting impact.

As well as generating a positive public perception, the overall aim of media coverage is to enable organisations to communicate key messages to their intended target audience. To ensure this objective is met, put the people behind the business into the spotlight and let them do the talking!

Media interviews and profile opportunities must be explored. The value of this type of press coverage can not only be beneficial to the careers of individual employees, but it can also be leveraged to help reach wider business goals.

Saying something of value

When it comes to approaching members of the press, it needs to be made clear why their readers, listeners or viewers will want to hear what someone has to say. This can be anything from providing insight on topical issues impacting a specific sector or region, commenting on current market trends, or announcing the launch of a new service/product within an organisation.

The most important aspect to remember is to define why this person is relevant to the audience of that publication or broadcaster.

Add personality to the brand or business

The public can now put a face to the name. Taking part in interviews provides the perfect platform for organisations to become more authentic and relatable by showcasing the personality of their employee(s).

The media audience will then have a more familiar and authentic attachment with the organisation, which will help strengthen their bond.

This combination not only helps retain existing customers and attract new business, but it ultimately enhances the organisation’s reputation.

Become an expert

Interviews offer participants the chance to demonstrate their credibility and experience by providing insightful advice, commentary and guidance wherever possible. As a result, the marketplace will begin to recognise these individuals as experts whilst also boosting the reputation of their organisation.

Before long, journalists will appreciate the credibility of these interviewees and call upon them as useful resources of information when covering other trends or topical issues within their fields.

In addition to raising the profile of the organisation, being an established industry expert will help bring in new business opportunities and add long lasting commercial value to any organisation.

As experts that have worked with multi-national brands and ambitious start-ups to secure coverage that has had a lasting impact, if you would like to speak to us about how media interviews could work for you and your brand, please do give us a call on tel. 01924 862477.

HOW IGNORING PR CAN BE DAMAGING TO YOUR BUSINESS

PR can have a transformational impact on businesses of any size, yet there remains an outdated and unfounded stigma around the value and results that it can deliver.

It goes without saying that communication is critical in the current marketplace. The success of any organisation largely depends on how it engages with its target audience, whether its towards the customer, client, employee or stakeholder.

This is exactly what PR professionals do!

As an agency, we form trusted partnerships with our clients to deliver strategic communications that meet with business objectives. This could be sharing key messages with the masses or more specific and targeted campaigns.

The one consistent factor is that our results speak for themselves.

In a nutshell, we increase brand awareness, help launch new services and products to market, enhance company or individual reputations to help them to become more commercially viable. When combined, the delivery of our services ultimately helps clients to achieve business goals.

Without a robust PR and marketing strategy, businesses are at risk of putting themselves at a disadvantage within the marketplace and losing all visibility with current and prospective customers.

In order to elaborate further, I’ve chosen just three outputs from PR that businesses will find hard to achieve unless they invest in professional services.

Media coverage

Sitting at the heart of PR is securing media coverage. Communications professionals form and develop lasting relationships with a vast number of contacts and journalists. Despite how specific or niche a market may be, members of press, publications and influencers can be targeted to help generate positive publicity for a particular business.

As there is an abundance of ways to digest news, both in print and digital, PR professionals will use their experience and expertise to approach the media with a story that is newsworthy and relevant. The idea being that it is then featured in regional, national or trade publications.

Once media coverage has been secured, it can then be leveraged to increase brand awareness, create a positive public perception and act as a useful platform to promote the launch of new products and services.

Without any investment in PR, businesses are likely to lose this opportunity and as a result fail to be recognised as a legitimate competitor within a specific marketplace.

Social media activity

Social media channels have now established themselves as the digital high street for many businesses. Now more than ever, a greater amount of attention needs to be given to these platforms as they are arguably the first place that target audiences will visit.

In other words, social media channels must give off a good first impression!

Whether it is Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, businesses need to use each channel to serve a purpose, whether this is showcasing new services or products, promoting brand identity or sharing critical company announcements. They need to act as a reliable and relevant communication resource.

This can be achieved by building the credibility of all platforms, which need to garner a strong following from relevant and influential businesspeople, members of the media, industry counterparts or new and existing clients.

As followers increase, so will the levels of engagement with different posts. This is especially useful when sharing media coverage as it can help significantly increase the amount of people who read about the positive news a company has to share. Thus, increasing brand awareness.

By investing in PR, businesses can ensure that each channel is managed by a team of specialists who understand what type of content should be posted and when. This will enable social media platforms to be used as useful tools to help businesses build towards achieving wider growth ambitions.

Crisis management

Although crisis scenarios are thankfully rare for most, businesses must ensure they have the capability to deal with a problem if one were to ever arise. Whether this be a corporate, public, or internal issue or incident, how this is handled can be make or break for businesses.

Reputation is everything within the marketplace, and once this is destroyed, recovery can be almost impossible!

The most effective way to combat these types of situations is having an experienced crisis management team in place. This forms a big part of the PR toolkit. Communications professionals can explore and identify potential situations that could cause irreversible harm to a brand or business. This is combatted by the implementation of proactive PR strategy.

Despite how prepared the team may be, crisis’ can also occur with no warning at all. This is exactly why it is critical to have a capable team ready to tackle and resolve these issues with minimal collateral damage.

Navigating through these sensitive situations without profession PR support could spell disaster for a business. Damage to brand reputation will have a devastating impact that can never be fixed. The question perhaps therefore is not can you afford PR, but can your business survive and thrive without it?

Investing in public relations is critical to the success of any organisation, now is the time to take action and let PR do the talking.

If you would like to know more about Open Comms and the services we offer, why not give us a call on 01924 862477 or contact us here.

REALISING THE FULL POTENTIAL OF BECOMING A THOUGHT LEADER

Delivering a successful PR strategy will help organisations to generate and maintain a positive perception among the public. However, a lot of moving parts are required for PR to make a meaningful and lasting impact.

Whether this includes social media posts, press coverage, new website content or email marketing campaigns, each communication needs to share a common purpose and include the same consistent messaging.

Regardless of the industry or size of the company, the most effective way to engage with any target audience is to be as authentic as possible. Be relatable and real so the public takes notice. To do this, leverage the experience and expertise of the senior executive team by transforming them into thought leaders.

Objective

The benefits of establishing thought leaders can be wide ranging. In essence, they will play a significant role in helping to create trust, form strong relationships with existing and new customers, whilst also gaining the confidence of employees and key stakeholders.

When it comes to showcasing the expert insight and industry knowledge from a team, those chosen as thought leaders must have something of value to say on topical issues that are affecting their specific sector. This should also be relevant to the wider marketplace.

Not only does this build credibility for an organisation as a whole, but it also provides further opportunities to influence the public by putting a spotlight on the people behind the brand. Pulling back the curtain will help the target audience to feel more attached and familiar with the business.

Content creation

Once a relevant topic has been identified, the next stage will be to determine the best way to communicate the thought leader’s opinion to be digested by the biggest number of people as possible.

This can be delivered through a number of different approaches, but it is all about creating engaging and interesting content that is relevant and resonates with the intended audience.

Blogs

Writing blogs is a useful and unrestrictive way of sharing a thought leader’s views in an accessible and frequent way. The versatility of blogs means that they can either be complex and analytical pieces or lighter reads that encourage discussions and dialogue among the readers.

Depending on the topic chosen, it may be that the content written could have an angle that would be of interest to an online trade publication or regional newspaper. The media often have blogs that will publish and share articles from third parties, including companies that have thoughts to share.

It is important that any content submitted to a trade or regional publication is exclusive. Once it has been uploaded and shared it can then be repurposed to feature on a company blog but it is always best practice to offer it to a publication first.

In order to ensure a blog will reach as wide an audience as possible, it must be shared across all social media channels. Not only will this help engage with a company’s followers, but it will also drive traffic back to the website and may even lead to new business enquiries.

Media commentary

Be an ally to the media. Journalists are constantly looking to strengthen their stories with expert and credible opinions, so thought leaders must be willing to be provide commentary. Even if the topic can be somewhat controversial.

Contributing to media publications not only gives thought leaders the platform to demonstrate their expertise and provide insightful advice, but it also opens up the opportunity to be profiled in the press.

Once a thought leader is an established media commentator, they will be seen within the industry as a useful resource of information and, in turn, increase the awareness of themselves and the company they work for.

Social media

Although social media has already been mentioned regarding blogs, there are so many advantages to using these platforms.

Whether it is Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, thought leaders must utilise all channels to showcase their expertise and experience to the biggest audience possible.

By connecting with high profile people within the industry, members of the media, company profiles or other influential businesspeople, thought leaders will start to build a strong social following.

As followers increase, engaging content must be shared frequently. This can take the form of posting topical commentary, sharing articles of interest related to a specific sector or directly addressing other people to ignite debates and dialogues.

Social networking is a major catalyst in transforming a business executive into a thought leader.

If you need help in developing your brand and want to become a thought leader within your field, then our team of experts will be more than happy to help! You can give us a call on 01924 862477 or contact us here.

THE RETURN TO THE OFFICE: AN OPEN COMMS SAGA

As the first week of September gets underway, it marks the return to the office for the Open Comms team. Situated in the heart of Wakefield city centre, our head office is surrounded by numerous businesses that are, like us, taking the first steps into an environment they have missed for the best part of five months.

After working from home for so long, I can honestly say that the hustle and bustle of the morning commute is very welcome. This change in routine has been needed and interacting with my colleagues in person has never been so valued. Yes, we have put strict Covid guidelines in place, but we are certainly back to business for the most part.

With that said, the Open Comms team did implement and execute a successful working from home strategy. Despite this year’s widespread disruption, our work remained uncompromised and our client list grew.

Although transitioning into remote working did have challenges, we were able to adapt and evolved our business processes. We realise that we have been fortunate. And although virtual client meetings may be here to stay for the foreseeable future, I can honestly say that returning to the office has given me a sense of normality I have longed for.

Despite only just returning, the benefits of working at Open Comms HQ are already obvious.

Routine

When I look back at my own lockdown experience, the one aspect that I felt I significantly lacked and missed was a routine. Whilst I initially intended on maintaining some sort of constructive regime, this was quickly abandoned.

The allure of extra sleep and the ease of staying in become all too hard to fight. This was in addition to the separation between my home and life becoming somewhat blurred.

I quickly realised that I was someone who didn’t just like a structured day, but also thrived off it. So, it comes as no surprise that I can already recognise improvements in my daily routine, especially when I sit at my desk to begin the day.

Don’t get me wrong, during the lockdown period I evolved my skillset, adopted more efficient working practices and became a more well-rounded PR professional. But, as I transfer these traits into a constructive and purposeful office space, they are amplified and enhanced.

This is because I arrive at the office to work and leave the office to go home. The distinction is clear. As a result, I personally feel that my productivity has already improved, and my focus is much sharper.

The true value of the evening commute has also been fully realised. This time, which I obviously didn’t have in lockdown, is now one of the most important parts of my day. It gives me the chance to reflect on the day just gone, plan for tomorrow and ultimately switch off before arriving home.

Creative space

One of the most enjoyable aspects of working in PR is the opportunity to have a creative outlet. Whether this applies to securing coverage in the media, increasing brand awareness, promoting a new product or growing a company’s profile, we need to create engaging content for our clients.

I must admit that there were times I often stared at the four walls of my bedroom office, which I say loosely, in search of some creative inspiration. But my home décor isn’t the most ideal surroundings for when I needed to create some striking social media posts or compelling copy for marketing material.

I firmly believe that your environment has a significant impact on your productivity. This is unquestionably the case when I work in the Open Comms office.

With spacious and comfortable workstations, ability to work from multiple rooms and access to critical resources, I tend to deliver improved results, perform more efficiently, and increase my levels of productivity.

Collaboration and communication

As an expert communicator, it may be obvious that communication plays a pivotal role within my daily duties. However, this aspect of my profession was arguably the most impacted by the pandemic.

Not only was it apparent that robust communications played a crucial role in the lockdown period, it also became clear that this was also the most challenging to achieve.

Shifting to remote working put daily correspondence at risk. The Open Comms team had to adapt new technology to not only maintain communications with our clients, but also each other as well.

Whether it was transferring team-wide meetings to video conferences, scheduling private Teams chats to discuss key projects or just wanting to have a catch up over the phone, communicating with one another was not as simple as it may sound!

The benefits of discussing ongoing PR Campaigns and client projects in person not only quickens the entire process, but it also helps establish a much more cohesive working environment. We at Open Comms pride ourselves on being strong collaborators and this is much more effective when we can communicate clearly and much more frequently with on another.

Now we have returned, there is a sense of enthusiasm and buzz among the team that reassures me we will pick up like we never left!

If you would like to know more about Open Comms and the services we offer, why not give us a call on 01924 862477 or contact us here.

A BLOG ABOUT BLOGGING: DELIVERING VALUE-LED CONTENT

When asked if blogging is essential to a PR campaign, the simple answer is yes. But that is only relevant when a brand truly appreciates the full potential of owned content.

By nature, the blog is a versatile tool. A brand or business can leverage owned content and its limitless possibilities, not least addressing so many topics. For a company to experience the benefits that this content can deliver, a strategic and purposeful approach must be taken.

And so, that is why we have shared a blog about blogging!

Identity

First and foremost, blogs are arguably the most read and updated asset on a website. They can and should encapsulate everything about a brand or business. This should cover who they are, what they do and how they get it done.

This content will act as a shop window on the high street. When visitors read these posts, they should be enticed and interested. The idea is that they want to know and see more.

Whether this is about employee wellbeing, new product or service launches, case studies or thought leadership pieces, the humble blog can be leveraged to communicate a specific or topical issue. This is a really useful tool when trying to build more robust communications with existing customers, whilst also trying to approach new business prospects.

In reality, the chosen subjects can be used in anyway the author wishes. As expert communicators, we believe that this opportunity and versatility provides brands and businesses with the opportunity to establish and enhance their identity.

Purpose

Unfortunately, creating content can be overlooked and undervalued by businesses. This is mainly because so much content is being pushed out, but perhaps for the wrong reasons.

Blogs in particular are often used as mundane devices. They become a box ticking exercise, instead of serving a meaningful purpose.

Owned content should form part of a wider communications strategy. Each one should have a clear, defined objective that is geared towards supporting a wider business goal. They need to deliver value.

For instance, an effective way to communicate critical information to vertical markets can be done through a blog post. To do this, the post must focus on something relevant and topical to those particular industries.

Any potential reader should be given a reason to click the link, and then be informed or engaged whilst digesting the content.

Whether a company is looking to attract new talent and expand its workforce or launch new products and services, implementing value-led content through a blog can support with this.

This same approach also applies when creating thought leadership articles. To be positioned as leading experts, brands and businesses must demonstrate their own capability and credibility within their field. This is when a blog entry can help showcase an individual’s specialisms by offering commentary on a topical issue or providing expert advice and insight.

Audience

Yes, creating blogs does provide further avenues for businesses and brands to promote themselves. However, this will only be beneficial if blogs are read by new and larger audiences.

The more people reading a blog, the more traffic a website generates. This then results in a potentially higher conversion rate of new businesses. To get the most out of the blogs, businesses and brands must leverage their social media channels.

Once a blog has been uploaded to a website, put the content to work! Create an ongoing schedule of social activity that sees a blog shared incrementally on LinkedIn and Twitter.

With an aim of generating as much engagement as possible, we would advise each post has an alluring statement along with a visual and corresponding link directing back to the website.

As the frequency of blogs rises, so too will the number of social posts. As the followers of a business become accustomed to receiving blog updates through social media, a brand can expect its audience to increase.

Once a brand creates a community, they have an active and engaged audience to communicate with. This is a really valuable asset for businesses of all sizes.

Summary

In time, if content of value is continually delivered through blogs, it can become a very meaningful resource. This is exactly what the purpose of a blog should be. It informs, educates and advises, whilst helping attract and engage with wider audiences.

If you’d like to discuss ways that the team at Open Comms can help in managing your brands PR strategy, contact us on info@opencomms.co.uk or call 01924 862477.