PR Start by Nick Lucido

How to start in the public relations industry.

Fresh Start

I’ve been blogging about being a public relations student at MSU since August and I’m hooked. I’m learning a lot, and I hope channeling what I learn is helping you, too.

So, as I sit here in my “New Media Drivers License” class taught by Derek Mehraban, CEO of Ingenex Digital, I wanted to give my blog a fresh start. The students in the class will each be developing a blog, joining the social media conversation and learning how it’s changing the world. Here’s some more information on the course – it’s going to be great.

I have big plans for this blog. I want to have more guest posts on here from you guys. Currently, I’ve got some lined up so get ready for those. Also, I want to share more relevant information – not just my own. Eventually, I would like to create a tool kit for students starting off in PR. In the immediate future, however, I’ll be sharing what I learn as I go through this 10-week course. I can say with full confidence that this is the path public relations education needs to be taking in today’s day and age.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate your help in sharing and contributing, and so do the readers.

What do you think of my blog’s new brand? Any other suggestions?


Filed under: New Media Drivers License, Public Relations, Social Media, Uncategorized, , , , , ,

Why and How to Blog

To blog or not to blog. I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers discuss why they blog, and I want to chip in my own two cents.

I blog simply because I want to help other students like me. While I try to provide my own perspective on things, I like sharing what I learn. I also like learning from other people – students, professionals and everyone in between.

If you’re looking to start a blog, here are some basic tips:

  • Use It’s free, easy and all around awesome. You can see how many people are looking at your blog, where your blog is being passed around, and a couple other useful pieces of information. Honestly, it’s cool to see how many people look at your blog, but also can be depressing. Don’t let it consume you!
  • Name your blog. What’s your personal brand? It should apply to your blog. Make sure it’s SEO (search engine optimization) friendly.
  • Think about what you want to blog about. It doesn’t need to advance yourself or your career, but find that niche that you can write about. Here is a post talking about finding a successful niche.
  • Get involved with social media. Haven’t you heard me say this enough? Read other blogs, like a lot of other blogs, and start commenting on their blogs. Then get yours going. Start on and work your way around to find blogs that will actually help you out.
  • Once you start blogging, it wouldn’t hurt to hire a copy editor. I hate when something slips through my young and inexperienced eyes, so I have a couple “lucky” people that get to check over my posts. Go Becky and Christina! They rock, but they don’t have their own blog (yet).
  • Proof your work.
  • Find communities to interact with. I found homes with PR Open Mic, Brazen Careerist and 20 Something Bloggers. Just remember that it takes a lot of time to build relationships in each community.
  • Did I mention to proof your work?
  • Are your ideas new and fresh? Keep on top of new trends and ideas in order to separate your blog from the rest. Hopefully mine doesn’t poop out too much – that’s what you’re reading it, right?
  • Keep the party going. Try and post at least once per week. At the very least, keep on Tweeting and sharing to build credibility.

If you don’t like my ideas, here are some great posts on how to start a blog. They’re pros.

  • One of my favorite posts from Penelope Trunk shows how to start a blog.. on her blog.
  • Guest post on Chris Brogan’s site pointing out what bloggers are doing poorly and how they can learn from professional journalists.
  • Scratch that. CB has a whole section on how to blog here.
  • Here is what you don’t want to do as a new blogger from Jason Falls.
  • For more tips on writing in a niche, check out Coppyblogger’s post here.
  • A great guide on making your blog successful in 90 days from the Influential Marketing Blog.

So, whether you are an public relations student, a seasoned PR professional, an engineer, a mom or even a regular Joe, think about starting a blog. Clearly define what the blog is for, and start interacting. But don’t start a blog just to start a blog.

I’ve been surprised how much I’ve learned since entering the blogosphere. You can do it too. Honestly.

So what have you learned to be best practices since starting a blog? How do you find your nitch? If you have a new blog, post a comment – I would love to check it out.

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Ghostwriting Executive Blogs

Following the social media workshop our PRSSA Chapter hosted last week, we briefly talked about the voice behind corporate blogs. The question then became who really is writing the CEO’s blog? Is it really the head of the company? Or is the blog ghostwritten?

I’ll tell you what it shouldn’t be.

Social media provides the unique opportunity for a company to connect with its consumers directly. Whether you’re using Facebook to connect with fans, conversing with consumers on Twitter or even hosting a photo submission contest on Flickr, you are doing what social media is meant for: having a conversation.

Even better is that some companies have taken social media to the next level are are now responding to those who aren’t fans of their company. For example, if you complain about Comcast on Twitter, chances are their customer service department will be contacting you to see how they can help.

When a company starts utilizing a corporate blog, the idea is that it makes the normally exclusive executives accessible for everyone. Not just the media, not just other executives. You and I. Between media interviews and carefully constructed statements, people often don’t have the opportunity to see executives of a big corporation on a personal level. Social media is that opportunity.

Treating social media as traditional media is ineffective. Reading a blog prepped by a communications staff is the same thing as reading an article in the newspaper that starts, “according to a statement by Chief Executive Officer…” And people know. Because people are visiting a social platform on their own time and their own accord, the chances are they aren’t looking to be lectured. They are looking to take part in the conversation.

Here’s two examples of great corporate blogs:

  • Although it’s written from a PR guy, Richard Edelaman – 6 a.m. is a fantastic example of an executive blog. It’s honest, straight to the point and itsn’t trying to directly sell his product.
  • Another idea for a blog comes from Google. While it’s cool to see what the executive leadership is up to, as a consumer, I also think it’s cool to hear from the employees. A corporation is made up of a lot of different people doing a lot of different things, and The Official Google Blog captures this well. Even cooler is that a friend of a friend was one of the guest posts. What are the chances?

I see social media as the opportunity for you to connect with others. As an executive in the company, I think it’s best to either write the blog yourself or don’t at all. What’s the point of hearing more of what you get in traditional media on social media platforms?

My question is simple: is it ethical for a blog to be when in fact it is run by the public relations staff? Is it even worth it to run a ghostwritten blog? Should there be some kind of disclosure stating that this blog is run by a communications staff?

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