Guest post: Guest blog to get ahead

Guest post: Guest blog to get ahead

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Public relations student Faye Oakley reckons that blogging is a great way to make new connections, demonstrate expertise, and get a head start. By Faye Oakley

Guest blogging has been a great way for me to gain experience and make connections in the public relations industry.

To get ahead you have to take a genuine interest in the industry, if there is a blog you enjoy, why not contact the editor with some ideas? From my experience, being proactive will win you support in abundance.

As a regular reader to PRexamples.com I was on their mailing list for the ‘best stunts of the week’ and noticed that they welcomed new contributors. I was keen to get involved to practice writing in a way that is engaging and to come up with relevant topics on a regular basis.

I had also hoped to refine my writing style and become more efficient when creating content. And of course, the readership of this blog was a major pull.

Since my first post in April I’ve had lots of positive feedback about my posts and this experience has helped me to initiate conversations with practitioners who I may look to for a job someday.

Knowing what is going on in the industry and having case studies you know well to discuss with employers is invaluable. Not to mention that writing is a staple PR skill.

But blogging goes much further than simply writing, done well it can mean a foot in the door. Not to sound cliché, but building and maintaining relationships is a major aspect of public relations.

By writing for PR Examples and building a rapport with founder, Rich Leigh (@goodandbadpr), I was able to use this connection to organise for Rich to visit Leeds Met and talk to our Journalism & PR Society.

Rich presented a very thought-provoking talk ‘How not to be a buzzword-spouting Public Relations clone’. He shared some great tips such as; useful sites, how we can use analytics, manually retweeting and what makes a successful campaign.

He also stressed the importance of search engine optimisation (SEO) and good measurement; always show how your public relations activity has influenced bottom line.

There are other ways to grab the attention of bloggers too; I was invited by Anne-Marie Bailey to write a blog post for Raising the Profile after joining in with the weekly Twitter chat’s #raisingtheprofile.

There are lots of opportunities out there, keep your eyes open. I’ve written for Behind the Spin and now Stephen’s blog simply by asking on Twitter. If it feels right, just do it.

And don’t forget you’re not restricted to PR blogs; play to your strengths, whatever they may be. I have written for the NUS blog, which came from writing for my online student newspaper. This is especially useful if you have a specific sector you would like to work in.

About Faye Oakey Faye OakleyFaye is currently studying for a degree in Public Relations at Leeds Metropolitan University, in her second year. She currently interns at Leeds Bradford International Airport alongside her studies. Connect with Faye via Twitter at @FayeOakey.

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