PR blogging in 2018: what did we learn?
Author: Tricia Heinrich
February 06, 2019
As the leader of a content creation team, I am always looking for ways to improve the quality of our work product and drive engagement and results for our clients. A key responsibility of mine is to manage Bospar’s own blog and drive agency marketing with thought-leading posts that keep our clients and associates informed and in touch with what’s happening in the agency world.
In the case of both client work and our own, we’re always watching content metrics to learn more about reader interest, engagement and calls to action to learn and then to incorporate that knowledge into best practices moving forward. So, as we look back on 2018, it becomes instructive to review which of our posts have generated the most page views, engagement and social shares, not only to improve our own effectiveness but also to obtain insights for use in client blog content. Here are some of our big takeaways from 2018:
Pop Culture, Entertainment and Celebrity References Help Drive Page Views.
Two of our best performing posts in terms of page views were all about pop culture, illustrating the benefit of a compelling subject to draw in readers. My love letter to the classic film “Moonstruck” and the way its great writing continues to inspire was our best-performing post of the year based on page views. Because who doesn’t love Cher and this timeless movie?
Bospar Principal Curtis Sparrer wrote our second-best page view performer; it’s about his experience working with Star Trek actor and current pop culture icon and social media influencer George Takei. Curtis’s ability to take us behind the scenes – to understand what it is really like to work with a legitimate star – helped fuel readership.
Another Bospar colleague, Account Director Ali Nagy, leveraged interest in “The Bachelor” television series in her blog post which was one of our top-performing on Facebook. “What ‘The Bachelor’ Has Taught Me About Public Relations” was our most engaging Facebook post, probably because it is a hit TV series and involves matters of the heart.
Hot Issues Are…Hot!
Unless you work in politics or public affairs, PR is typically not the place where hot-button issues live. But even controversial grammar issues can drive engagement and reader enthusiasm and shares.
Semantics are important in our world, and so is punctuation. The Oxford comma is a hot button for PR pros, and our Content Supervisor Mick Emmett is pretty close to the heat every day. This post was one of our highest-performing of 2018, shared widely on Twitter. He says, “The Oxford comma is a divisive issue – people are either all-in or think it is superfluous. And anything that causes people to have strong opinions tends to garner more eyeballs.”
Sharing Varies Across Platforms.
Conversely, the fast-twitch, highly-opinionated and short-form world of Twitter was where the previously mentioned Oxford comma post, as well as our “Notes on Knope” post, performed best. Snackable and shareable content reigns supreme on Twitter, and both of these posts had what Twitter and its users crave: in the case of the commas, some controversy. And in the case of “Notes on Knope,” it was some fun advice, combined with a dash of celebrity, perfect for re-Tweets.
According to our “Knope” author Account Associate Kourtney Evans, “In PR, we recognize that messages are most effective if they are compatible with current audience beliefs, values and world views. In today’s era of women’s empowerment, using Leslie Knope and TV’s other leading ladies was an effective way to illustrate successful messaging.”
Your Title Doesn’t Determine Blog Post Success.
PR agencies like Bospar have a deep and talented bench when it comes to writing. In practical terms, this means that interesting writing can come from any level in the organization, and our blog metrics bear that out.
In other words, good writing doesn’t care about your title. Good writing cares about being on target and engaging with the audience, and we’re pretty proud that we’ve picked the right people and nurtured this skill set across our staff.
Compelling and/or entertaining subjects, some friendly controversy and the willingness to cultivate and curate quality content drove Bospar’s blogging success for 2018. By applying these principles and learnings to your own blog, you too can raise your blogging game.