Remember the Seinfeld episode in which Kramer writes a coffee table book about coffee table books? Well, this is a blog about blogs.
I began blogging in 2006. Since then, Repman has been named best in industry, consistently ranked among the AdAge Power 100 and attracted hundreds of subscribers and thousands of pass-along readers. It's also landed me in a lot of hot water. One blog antagonized Jack O'Dwyer so much that he lambasted me on the cover of his trade publication for two straight weeks. Another, criticizing the inherent flaws in industry awards programs, earned me a lifetime ban as a PR Week Awards judge. (Note: I stand by my original POV's and find having been fired as a judge makes for a great cocktail party conversation starter.)
All that said, I still have no idea what makes my blog successful. Oh sure, I know it's important to keep the content short and sweet. It's also essential to generate new content daily. And, it's critical to provide readers with a unique perspective. I think it's also important to avoid the breaking news of the day and posit views on less well-known, but equally important, facets of reputation management. (I tend to take the road less traveled when it comes to blogging.)
When I say I have no idea what makes my blog successful, I'm referring to reader response. I've written some blogs that I thought were so edgy and, dare I say it, so insightful, that they'd generate a significant response. And, then, nothing would happen. Nada. Zilch. At other times, like last week, I'll pull together a hastily written blog about the five most influential TV shows in my life and, voila, the flood gates will open and I'll receive 45 or more comments (insert link).
I'm fortunate to have my blog featured on the front page of The Daily Dog and CommPro.biz. I share those home pages with 15 or 20 other top bloggers. And, I must say, I don't get why some of those blogs are successful either. Like the agencies and service shops they represent, the other blogs tend to be good, bad or just plain ugly. To wit:
– One blogger is an inveterate name dropper and loves to let you in on the latest world leader, Hollywood celebrity or media mogul with whom he's dined and opined. Big deal. I once sat alongside Robby Benson on a flight from West Palm Beach to Newark.
– Another blogger's essays are meticulously researched, beautifully crafted and invariably as dull as dishwater.
– Then there's the blog from hell, authored by an agency leader who clearly played hooky when basic English grammar was being taught. His tomes are endless rants, replete with every spelling and punctuation mistake possible.
– There are also the blogs written solely about media training or video communications. These are the one trick ponies of the PR blogosphere.
And, so I end where I began: clueless as to what constitutes a good blog and why some blogs I find self-serving and self-important routinely sweep the industry awards (could paid advertising have anything to do with it?). Oh well. I've also never figured out why 'little people' don't constitute a minority and never come up in conversations about the need for greater diversity in PR. But, that's a subject best left for another blog or the stage of the New York Comedy Club.
And a tip o' the hat to Mrs. RepMan (aka Angie Cody) for this idea.
Thanks. But, truth be told, I was toying with the idea of not responding to your comment, Bubbles.
I think one of the reasons Rep is so successful is that he replies to EVERY comment. He shows an appreciation and respect for everyone who takes time to comment, even if he doesn’t agree with their POV. He wants to know his audience and establish relationships.
That’s very kind of you, Julie. Much appreciated.
What makes the RepMan Blog a must-read in my daily routine?
You keep it real with unpretentious observations ranging in topics from your NJ Transit rides from hell to the latest natural disasters in the world (although one might argue that NJ Transit is a local disaster).
Also – you generously share this open forum with uncensored guest bloggers, and as one of them, I am grateful.
What makes a blog popular seems as elusive as what makes a video go viral. But Book and Lunch are right. We all have reputations; the topic is deep as it is wide. So we regularly tune in to find out who screwed up this week and how to avoid making the same missteps ourselves.
Thanks Book. Appreciate the feedback. Will keep ‘em coming and hope for the best.
No harm done.
Easy there, guy.
Thanks Lunch. So more intern-specific themed blogs?
IMHO, your best blog posts are such because they invoke an emotional response based on the reader’s own history.
First, let me say that I LOVE Mrs. RepMan – big shout out to her! As to what makes your blog interesting to the rest of us, simple, topics that you can relate to your own business and life in general. My life is so far removed from PR in general, but these little tips or insights, as you will, get me thinking about things I can do to improve my own work, my own life and my own way of thinking. I’m a huge fan of blogs and if they don’t fill some presumed void in my life, I dump them. Those I keep are entertaining first, and helpful second. Keep em coming Rep.