Last week I presented to a group of Restaurant Human Resources Professionals as part of the People Report Summer Camp Symposium in Dallas, Texas. The event was, hands down, the best conference I have ever presented at orattended. I led a session titled, “Blogging for Dummies.”
Blogging is an interesting topic for Human Resources and Corporate Recruiting Teams. An amazing corporate blog can help effectively communicate change to a current employee base while also providing potential candidates a insider’s look at a company and its corporate culture. Recruitment and HR blogs should be managed by their respective departments, not marketing. Marketing should work hand in hand with their talent team and serve as a consultant or advisor.
For the individual, blogging in my opinion is an absolute must to help define and control your personal brand. Blogs are a great way for companies and clients to learn more about you outside of your professional resume or social profiles like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Blogs can be the difference maker for job seekers and are the Resume 2.0.
My talk’s foundation started with what I call the 5 P’s of Blogging. The 5 P’s of Blogging are similar to, yet fundamentally different from the 5 P’s of Marketing you might remember from your undergrad marketing class.
- Purpose. Your blog as a corporation, collaboration, or person must have a purpose. Similar to a corporate mission statement, your blog’s goal must be defined. And like any marketing or branding tool, it must be developed to attract and inform a particular segment of that target audience or market that you have defined. Too often, we start a blog without the proper research or understanding of what we want to write about or who we want to engage. Developing and defining your purpose is by far the most important step.
- Platform. The decision to create a blog starts with the decision to use a blogging platform or service. I encourage you to play with some of the platforms before you make this decision. I say this from my own experience. My first blog, BloggingforJobs was on a free platform called Blogger before I moved it to its own domain and transferred my blog to another platform called WordPress. A third and very common blog platform is TypePad which my good friend Kay Stout uses.
- Planning. Hands down your first 10 blog posts are the hardest so it is important for you to plan, research, and prepare for these first few articles. This is an important part of defining your blog’s writing style, your own style, and setting up the structure surrounding how often, who, and when your blog will release its posts. If you have a collaborative, corporate blog, I encourage you to work with at least 4 bloggers who will commit to writing at least one blog post every two weeks. Personally, I commit to no less than 8 blog posts a month myself for Blogging4Jobs and have for the past four years.
- People. After Purpose, this is the most important step. People are the social aspect of blogging. Ask your entire company to help you promote leveraging their own networks. Setting up a simple RSS feed or newletter can help leverage your contacts both inside and outside the company as well. Both these tools allow persons to subscribe to your blog updates while keeping your brand and company at the top of their mind. Blogging should be a two way conversation and I encourage you to keep the comments open both good and bad. Candidates realize that companies aren’t perfect and its the conversation and culture that sets companies apart.
- Promotion. Promoting my blog on social networks is a huge part of my blog’s success. I recommend using social bookmarketing sites to promote your blog like Digg, Stumbleupon, Technorati, and LinkedIn Groups in addition to popular social platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Your marketing department is key in helping your blog gain momentum and popularity as they are experienced in online press releases with services like Pitch Engine.
Want to bring a corporate, personal, or professional blog to my (and everyone else’s!) attention? Leave a comment below and recognize a job well done.
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Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR is known as @Blogging4Jobs on Twitter, is a published author of “Tweet This! Twitter for Business” and is a leading HR blogger and new media strategist. Jessica is a subject matter expert and provides insights in the areas of HR, recruiting, and new media consultancy with her company, Xceptional HR. Her newest project is Texting4Jobs, a text based job board platform recently launched in Oklahoma.