When I started this blog back in 2009, I wanted to vent about media relations. At the time, PR people were taking a lot of heat for spamming bloggers. It seemed like every day there was some story about a PR person that had pissed off a blogger. Most of the attacks were probably justified, though the result of years of built up tension in most cases. As I started blogging, I didn’t think it would stick. When I launched my personal blog in 2007, I wrote two posts, then deleted them. I’d write them again, then I deleted them. I ultimately decided blogging wasn’t for me. I eventually came around.
With Journalistics, it was different. In 2009, social media was starting to take off. I had 12 years of PR experience under my belt – and I knew a thing or two about SEO. I never thought of myself as an expert, but as I started to share my suggestions, a lot of great feedback started coming in. I was actually helping people. Some people said my blog had become their favorite (but that’s what mom’s are supposed to say, right?).
If you had told me that hundreds of thousands of people would read my posts, I wouldn’t have believed you. But that’s what happened. Then the posts started being mentioned by people I respected in the industry. And then I’d have people come up to me at conferences and say, “I read your blog. I love it.” I always thought they had me confused for a similar-sounding blog.
After three years of building my audience, making tons of friends, getting posts regularly picked up in trade outlets, being listed on Alltop for “journalism” and “PR” and even breaking the Top 100 on the AdAge Power 150 at one point, things were going pretty good. So what did I do next? I stopped blogging. Call it writer’s block. Call it dealing with stress and other personal stuff. Call it whatever you want, but they’d all be excuses.
I haven’t blogged since December. I have no idea how that happened. Granted, I am a big believer in quality over quantity, but at some point that argument loses its weight. You know, like when you don’t post in three months. If you’re reading this blog, it’s a miracle. I’ve given you no reason to check back here lately – and there’s no shortage of PR and journalism blogs out there.
I may not be listed on the AdAge 150 anymore. And it looks like Alltop took me off their lists of journalism and PR blogs. So that’s the bad news… But I don’t lose as much sleep over that as I would if you stopped reading. Let’s make a deal. If you keep reading, I’ll never let another month go by without posting something decent. Over the past three years, I’ve averaged six posts a month. I think that’s the write balance for one moonlighting blogger.
The Good News?
The good news is, facing the choice of shutting down the blog or cranking things back up, I opt for the latter. Why? One word… you. I’m so grateful for everyone that reads this blog. I don’t write for money (I barely cover hosting). I write to help students and young professionals. I write to stimulate meaningful dialogue with my peers (and experts that know a lot more about this stuff than I do). And I write because its fun and I love it. I can’t believe I’ve let this much time go by – but it’s not like I haven’t been thinking about things I want to write about, or ways to improve the blog.
If you were thinking of unsubscribing or taking me off your blog roll, hold your horses. I’ve got a lot of good things up my sleeve. Here are some of the content categories you can expect moving forward. Some you’ll recognize, some are new, and some will remain a surprise.
- “How Tos” for media and PR pros – not just limited to PR – historically, you’ve asked for these posts the most – from how to write a boilerplate or how to work a room, you’ve told me these posts help (help me help you with more ideas)
- “Tips and Tricks” to help you work smarter/faster
- Guides and resources for PR and journalism – there are some great posts from the past that need to be updated (like that infamous post on ‘best’ J-schools)
- Analysis and opinion on current industry issues and news stories – there’s a couple of things I need to chime in on
- Career-related advice for finding work (or making more moola working for somebody or yourself)
- Interviews with people doing cool work in journalism and PR – people you wouldn’t get to talk to everyday
- Topics you want to know about (comment on this post and I’ll consider your ideas)
- Guest blogs from really smart people (as a side note – I’ve dropped the ball with some guest blogs in the past; my standards will be much higher moving forward)
- Reports from events I attend nationally – or good scoops on regional happenings in Atlanta
- Updates on our projects outside of Journalistics – because I know some of you care about that stuff
- Stuff you won’t see on every other PR blog out there (like the truth on how to get covered in certain pubs – or tough love for things like press release writing)
For you loyal readers that have resisted the temptation to unsubscribe from the feed, thank you. Let’s just look at this time as my sabbatical. It was time to recharge and get fresh ideas. Please let me know what you’d like to see here. And, if you’re still reading and attending SXSW this year, let me know. I’ll be there Friday to Monday and would love to connect with some of our readers. Cheers!
(Image Credit: Quality Ice Cream Mural by KB35 / Flickr)