Every Journalist Should Try Blogging — That Goes for PR, Too

Via Leonard Witt, read the following passage from an
interview with Howard Owens, the Director of Digital Publishing at Gatehouse
Media
, owner of more than 400 community newspapers (empahsis added):

Every student journalist should spend at least six months totally immersed
in blogging. Start a blog and try to draw an audience. Do the things that
bloggers need to do, read other blogs, create a blog roll, link to other blogs,
post frequently on topics relevant to the audience you’re trying to reach (and
read those blogs in that category), comment on other blogs. Learn to be a
participant. That’s my advice to pro journalists, too: if you want to learn
this culture, become a participant in it.
It will totally change the way you
think about media and online publishing.

I couldn’t agree more – and I would add that public relations and other professional
communicators do the same, especially students. While it’s certainly possible to do media relations
without having worked as a journalist, I believe it’s far more difficult to
engage with the blogosphere and “learn the culture,” as Owens says, without
experiencing it firsthand.

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3 Responses to Every Journalist Should Try Blogging — That Goes for PR, Too

  1. Mike Cooper says:

    Gary,
    I couldn’t agree more. As a relative newcomer to blogging, I’ve learned more about the culture and motivations behind blogging in a week than I have in the years spent reading them.
    Certainly within my agency, I’ll be ensuring that a framework is put in place for every team member to get actively involved in the blogsphere.
    As you say, this is increasingly important for students – but aren’t we all students of social media? We’re all still learning what works and what doesn’t.
    Hats off to those leading the way.

  2. While the world of blogging is still somewhat new to me, I understand the advice from professionals. It’s almost like the saying “practice makes perfect.” Through more blogging, I feel that my own personal writing could benefit more practice. The more I write, the more I come to understand my skills.
    I like methods of delivery, and blogging pushes students and professionals to think outside of that box. I somewhat like the press release formats, but I am also open to new and creative ideas to push the envelope.
    Thanks for your post. I really think if more teachers started pushing blogging as a more “professional” nature and less on the personal side our journalism world would benefit.

  3. Brendan says:

    As a copywriter in PR I think another important aspect of blogging is that it improves a core competency: that of building a succinct argument from many sources in a direct, compelling way. I know writing is already supposed to be a core skill within PR but frequently I’m reminded that it isn’t when I have to proof!

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