Blogging

We have a refreshed, updated and re-energized website! Welcome!

As we were going through what needed to be revised on the AHA site, we realized that we’ve been blogging for close to 15 years. The blog on this site goes back to 2007 – that’s 11 years of having our own blog, with a few years before that when we were working with early adopter clients to get them up and running. That is incredible.

Creating content has become a large part of what we, as communicators, do. The world has changed and while mainstream media coverage will always be important, it is no longer always the priority in the strategies that we develop for clients. That is a big shift.

Owned content (what you create yourself) has become a powerful tool for organizations that are looking to authentically and fully engage with stakeholders. The way to reach customers, clients, government, vendors, suppliers, community partners and others is via social media networks and information, news, updates, case studies and other stories that are shared online.

Whether you are B2C or B2B, you have an audience – a community that is looking to you for knowledge, expertise, guidance or advice. They want you to solve a problem, provide a service, or offer a benefit. The way to tell them how you do these things is through online content.

You have to be a storyteller – to inform, educate and even entertain (when appropriate). No marketing speak, no sales push, no pressure. It’s about creating a compelling reason to move each person to action – and to do that, you must engage.

We’re going to be talking a lot more about blogging here – on our blog. We’re also bringing back Fast Take Fridays starting in March. (We get so many e-mails about them!)

So, stay tuned – it’s going to be fun!

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AHA Blog Post ImageHere at AHA, we have always strongly believed in the relevance and value of blogs. Even when it didn’t seem quite so “cool” anymore – our clients continued to see results from blogs. We monitor them closely to make sure that they provide return-on-investment; anyone who has ever had the responsibility to write a blog knows how much effort they take to produce on a consistent basis.

Writing a blog is like writing a newspaper or magazine column – it has to have an element of opinion in it, you need accurate stats and facts if you are going to cite them, the blog content has to be timely and interesting to your readers, and it should provoke thought and discussion. For many of our clients, a blog provides an excellent opportunity to share information and to open a conversation with their stakeholder group(s). But – and I know sometimes our clients get tired of hearing us say this – the blog has to be well-written and it needs to have relevant information that matters to the readers. If a blog is used just to put out marketing and sales information, it’s not going to gain traction. That’s not what people read blogs for.

We live in an incredible era. For the first time, there is an opportunity for people who are not paid by a print publication to have a voice. Media relations is still an important aspect of public relations; however – it is no longer the only option when it comes to sharing an organization’s story with stakeholders. Technology now provides the opportunity to write blog posts, to connect on Twitter and other social networking sites – to create awareness and enter the conversation about the topics that matter in your field of expertise.

Social Media Examiner recently ran an article on the results of Technorati’s 2013 Digital Influencer Report. This report shows that “blogs rank favorably with consumers for trust, popularity and even influence.” And that means something. If you don’t have a blog, I encourage you to consider starting one – but first, of course, sit down and plan it out. Approach it like you would any other communications tactic and define your objective, outline your topics and your target audience, ensure you know what to do if you are put under attack for an opinion or what to do should a blog post garner a great deal of positive attention, and understand how you will measure its success and what success means in this context.

Done right, a blog post is an excellent tool for strategic communications.

 

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It’s been a busy few weeks here at AHA. It has been challenging to keep up with the blog posts and Fast Take Fridays. While that’s a little frustrating, I also believe that it keeps things “real” in our office and with our clients.

If you have committed to a channel of communication, it is important not to let it slide too far out of the schedule. There’s no point in writing a quick blog post just to have something to upload. No matter how busy you are, the information you share needs to provide your readers/viewers with something they can use – an effective tip, an interesting article, a new way of looking at something, etc.

Here are some ways to work around a particularly busy timeframe that keeps your readers/viewers engaged and provides value.

  • When you are in a slower period, write a few blog posts that you can save and upload when you are too busy to write.
  • While your audience will read your blog post or view your video because they are interested in what you have to say, there is nothing wrong with sharing a blog post or article that you have read and find of value. It is always good to include your opinion in the post before you link to it.
  • Guest bloggers are another way to share relevant information. Having guest bloggers, that are of interest to your readers, lined up can help you get through the busy times.

One of the key points to remember is that the length of the blog post or video doesn’t necessarily reflect how good it is. Sometimes a short post – two to four sentences or a 30 second video clip – can provide an important point or “how to.” Longer doesn’t necessarily mean better.

Do you have any tips or hints on creating great content during busy periods? We’d love to hear what you do.

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On Wednesday, I wrote about the CEO/President’s blog. Today we’ll have a look at the organization blog, the employee blog and the blend.


The Organization Blog



This blog is a little less about the person writing it than it is about the organization as a whole. Often there will be several writers who cover a range of topics and areas regarding the organization. It might be that different departments or division heads each write one blog post a week about news, events and interesting points relevant to their area.



Please visit our blog to read the rest of the post.

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AHA Blog Post Image



Blogging has become a regular communications tool for organizations. One of the things that I have noticed is that when we work with the marketing department or agency of a client, there is a little bit of discussion over which area (communications or marketing) will develop and manage the campaign on Twitter and/or Facebook. There is never any discussion about the organization’s blog – it belongs firmly with the communications team.



Like any communications tool, blogging isn’t for everyone. It depends on the objectives, goals, overall strategy and, of course, the resources. It takes time and effort to produce a relevant, interesting and informative blog post on a regular basis.



Please visit our blog to read the rest of the post.

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