Why students should blog

31 May

We’re beginning to see several PR student and junior PR practitioner blogs. Here are some reasons why they’re a good idea (and a few words of warning, too).

  1. All writers, aspiring and professional, need to practice their skills. Celebrated advertising copywriter David Ogilvy said: ‘I am a lousy copywriter, but I am a good editor.’ Treat a blog as a playground for ideas and styles.
  2. It’s a new medium, and there are some new lessons to be learnt: about the virtue of links, about RSS, about the merits of posting comments, and about Google PageRank and other web metrics.
  3. As with all writing, you first need to read, read, and read some more. This is the most important lesson you can learn.
  4. You are looking to make a name for yourself, and blogs give Google plenty of current content to be indexed. This will help you appear on a Google search result, especially if you’re lucky enough to have an untypical name like Piaras Kelly. I predict that more  and more employers will adopt this technique before interviewing candidates on the grounds that if you can’t make a name for yourself, you probably can’t do it for them either.
  5. You’ll learn valuable lessons applicable to the real world. You’ll realise that Rome wasn’t built in a day: a blog is no instant route to fame and fortune, but nor is a public relations campaign.
  6. Conversely, you’ll learn that it is possible to have your thoughts and ideas picked up by others (real world public relations). It should give you a buzz.
  7. You’ll make connections: of ideas and with people.

I’ll reserve my final three points for some words of warning.

  1. Your naivety, your careless spelling, your rash judgements, your waning energy levels and your imprecise language will be exposed for others to see. You can edit and delete your entries but Google has a long memory (it’s called a cache).
  2. There will be a conflict of interest between your need to be open (in pursuit of personal glory) and the need to be discreet and professional (so you don’t frighten clients and employers).
  3. A blog’s a solitary slog. Shouldn’t you be out there networking?

13 Responses to “Why students should blog”

  1. Stephen Davies 31/05/2005 at 7:32 pm #

    Great post Richard! Do you have addresses of other student blogs? It would be good to link up to them.

  2. Blake 31/05/2005 at 8:19 pm #

    I second that as well – great post. I also think that blogging is beneficial for students because it’s a nice addition to their resume when they apply for their first jobs. Obviously you wouldn’t want to blog for just that reason, but blogs show your future employer that you are in touch with the industry and are always thinking about it.
    Stephen – Auburn PR Blog is one http://www.auburn.edu/academic/classes/prcm/4020/wordpress/ – and I think you already know about Behind The Spin.

  3. Richard Bailey 31/05/2005 at 8:33 pm #

    You’re the two swallows that allowed me to predict this glorious summer (along of course with the Auburn blogs).
    I’m not aware of any bloggers among my students, though several have done even better (in PR terms) by writing published diaries for the local BBC website or for the business school website.

  4. Piaras Kelly 31/05/2005 at 8:55 pm #

    LOL! Thanks for the mention. Too bad I don’t use the Irish version of my name, Piaras O Ceallaigh, then I’d really stand out 😀

  5. Hans on Experience 01/06/2005 at 7:48 am #

    Why PR students must blog

    I found a very interesting posting on PR Studies

  6. Hans on Experience 01/06/2005 at 7:48 am #

    Why PR students must blog

    I found a very interesting posting on PR Studies

  7. PR Opinions 01/06/2005 at 10:10 am #

    PR Miscellany – June 01, 2005

  8. DERMOT KEARNS 07/06/2005 at 10:34 am #

    Surely “but & nor” should not go together?D.

  9. Teaching and Developing Online. 10/06/2005 at 10:14 pm #

    Why students should blog.

    We’re beginning to see several PR student and junior PR practitioner blogs. Here are some reasons why they’re a good idea (and a few words of warning, too). PR Studies: Why students should blog…

  10. Breaking into the Academy 11/06/2005 at 4:53 am #

    Creating your web presence

    Between an entry at Darren Cannell’s site and the entry that I posted at The Program earlier today, I got to thinking about the importance of a graduate student’s web presence. Basically, these two entries were based upon this short little piece writte…

  11. ChrissiE-Learning 11/06/2005 at 3:19 pm #

    “Why Students Should Blog”

    I came across this entry while searching for avenues to expand my online network. It’s entitled “Why Students Should Blog”, and outlines some of the advantages and disadvantages of both personal and corporate blogging. While I tend to…

  12. Agent Tim 12/06/2005 at 1:59 am #

    Great post! I am actually a student blogger, and a columnist for an online magazine, written by students:
    Site: http://www.agenttimonline.com
    Mag: http://www.virtuemag.org
    You might like to check them out!

  13. EDITing in the Dark 12/06/2005 at 2:04 am #

    Blogging Basics Part 2

    I forgot to add this link to the Blogging Basics post earlier in the week – Why students should blog. I only noticed it was missing when Weblogg-ed posted “What blogs should students read” and Amy Bowllan linked it in the comments.

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