So you have blog but how do you grow your readership? Could you develop relationships with your current community and turn them into your Blogging tribe? What is the Four Models of Public Relations, and how does that tie in with your blogging efforts?
What is a Blogging Tribe?
More than a community of readers, your blogging tribe acts like brand ambassadors who regularly visit, comment on and publicise your blog via their Social Media platforms. Once you build up a strong tribe, your blog posts has a higher potential to go viral via the social media networks of your community.
What is Public Relations?
Unlike the sensationalised image that Samantha Jones from Sex and the City or Nick Taylor from Thank You For Smoking portrays, public relations is a profession that specialises in communicating information between an organisation (your blog) and its target publics (your blog readers). However, it is a complex field so if you’re interested, Public Relations Institute of Australia provides a much better definition here.
Some examples of better-known public relation job titles include: Spokesperson, celebrity publicist, community relations officers and social media strategist.
Four Models Of Public Relations
Four Models of PR is one of the core concepts of public relations by theorist James. E. Grunig. It basically discusses four different models of communicating with target publics and suggests that the two-way symmetrical model is the best form of communications for organisations. The four models of PR are the press agentry/publicity, public information model, two-way asymmetrical and the two-way symmetrical model. Below you can see the Analysis of The Four Models and their Relevance to Community Engagement.
1. The Press Agentry/Publicity Model
Remember the influx of “Buy this and lose 10 pounds,” or “Sign up and make 1million dollars working from home,” websites a decade ago? One directional, in your face promotions that often hard sells a product using exaggerated claims falls under this publicity model.
2. Public Information Model
Most government, legal and military sites that dispenses information to the public, often fall under this model, where information is often biased and communication is one directional. So do personal blogs created for cathartic purposes.
3. Two-way Asymmetrical Model
Blogs that research trending topics without interacting with your audiences, in order to persuade the readers into their ideologies, such as niche blogs with a specific agenda that do not engage with their readers, fall into this category.
4. Two-way Symmetrical Model
This model is advocated by Grunig as the best form of communications for organisations, seeks to promote mutual understanding between with an organisation (your blog) and its stakeholders (your readers). While it was traditionally viewed as an idealistic way to conduct Businesses by theorists, the evolution of social media, has created a perfect environment to execute this model via community engagement.
Grow Your Blog Using the Two-way Symmetrical Model
The key to the two-way symmetrical model is listening and communicating with your audiences in order to provide a service that is mutually beneficial, ie, a win-win situation.
- Add polls to your blog.
- Read your community’s blogs and leave comments. You can also drive traffic by Blog Commenting.
- Publicise your community’s blog posts and social media sites via blog post links, social media sharing of links, retweets, #FF and shout outs. Remember to inform or tag them too!
- Reply to blog comments.
- Ask engaging questions on your blog, Twitter, Google+ and Facebook.
- Read your follower’s feeds.
- Involve your readers by asking them what they’ll like to read in your next blog post. Learn how to interact with your readers effectively.
Sometimes growing a community of loyal readers boil down to the simple concept that people enjoy being listened to, acknowledged and appreciated. If you take time to ask your readers questions, listen to them, acknowledge their words, mention them in your writing and share their content, you are providing a service beyond churning blog post, you’re building mutually beneficial relationships.
While this is a time demanding way to grow your blogging tribe, the benefit is that your followers are often very loyal and willing to happy to share your content with their networks.
Do you communicate with your readers regularly? How do you reach out to them? What are some of your success stories? Do you have a blog that you offer unsolicited publicity? Why?