As this year's media sponsors of the UK Blog Awards, our Director, Fiona Minett, has been involved as a judge for the PR, Marketing, Media and Communications category. We're sharing the content of a guest blog that has been featured over on the UKBA15 website:
Fiona Minett, PR, Media, Marketing and Communications UKBA15 Judge is the Company Director at Peachy PR. Fiona is a great inspiration to all young aspiring journalists and bloggers as she founded her own boutique PR agency at 24 years old. Peachy PR is now recognised as an agency providing a strong launch pad for young businesses as well as offering comprehensive PR and social media services to a range of B2C and B2B clientele across the UK.
So, what will Fiona will be looking for when assessing the shortlist? We have asked her 5 quick questions from our UKBA15 candidates below.
1. What does it take for you to bookmark a Blog? Is there anything that a Blog must have/be to grab your attention?
The functionality of a blog is key. If I find a blog difficult to navigate, I generally leave it and go elsewhere. What really grabs my attention is when I land on a blog that looks intriguing and pulls me in to read more. I’m a sucker for a catchy sub-head and fascinating imagery but I also love a classic look in a blog; simple, crisp and clean, but full of personality.
On the flip side, it’s easy to get bogged down in the style and look of a blog, which can sometimes override amazing content. What’s so great about the ‘bloggersphere’ is the community spirit. I’ve found a lot of awesome blogs through recommendations, which I otherwise wouldn’t have stumbled across.
2. What would stand a Blog out from the crowd? Top three things.
3. How seriously do big companies take Blogs and the Blogging culture on a commercial level?
Being a small business, this is something that we don’t have first-hand experience of, but having dealt with, worked with and followed bigger companies, I’d say they take the blogging culture pretty seriously. Many now dedicate a chunk of their digital campaigns to blogging – whether it be gifting product or arranging blogger lunches or press days.
We’re in a changing world where bloggers have built up a credibility and following, very much in the same light as journalists. I think the influence they have on some people, particularly as we’ve seen in the fashion world, is quite intense. But it’s because these bloggers have cleverly built relationships with their audience, who have grown to trust them. On a commercial level, the most trusted bloggers are of course great for advertising a product or service and what I love about bloggers (most of them) is their honesty. If they don’t like a product, they won’t write about it and with the new rules that deem it imperative to highlight a paid advert or paid product placement, I think bloggers can be taken very seriously on a commercial level.
4. Do you think there is any brand loyalty when it comes to Blogs that report on news?
I think everyone, whether they’re a blogger or not, will have loyalty to certain brands – more of a personal preference on their experience of a product – which is only natural. Some bloggers are paid for product placement, which they must now declare, but otherwise I think the reason blogging is so popular is because of honesty and the trust they have built with their audiences’.
5. Do you think that in time Blogs will take over from the traditional media forms such as, daily newspapers for the latest news?
The thing with blogging and social media is that it is so instant and when you can so quickly share a headline in 140 words on a tweet, there’s no denying that blogging and digital is up there with traditional media forms. For me, some bloggers are journalists but most are not. Blogging has opened up a world where everyone and anyone can share their opinions, but whether these opinions are classed as journalism is another argument.
I think bloggers offer invaluable insights in to worlds which were otherwise once unobtainable, as well as having the potential to influence policy making, raising concern over policies and spreading key messages. But I also think we have to remember that journalism is a profession and I don’t think blogging will take over take over from it, I think they’re two different entities.
As we know, print publications are closing and journalists are losing their jobs, but I think the cycle will come full circle and ultimately blogging will strengthen traditional media, rather than override it.