Blogging has become a popular marketing strategy to establish an organisation as an industry leader, provide insights and connect with online audiences. However, Australian public relations agencies have been slow taking up this practice for their own businesses.

Only one quarter of members of the PR industry group, the Registered Consultancies Group (RCG) have a company blog.

The RCG is part of the industry body the Public Relations Institute of Australia (PRIA) and seeks to provide professional standards on consultancy operations for PR agencies.

“Blogs can be an effective tool for setting yourself up as an industry leader, creating brand awareness and encouraging brand loyalty,” said Kim Larochelle, account manager for Dennis Rutzou Public Relations.

“There has been much discussion in the industry about how blogging can benefit a client’s business but it seems not too many PR agencies have taken the strategy on board for their own businesses”, said Kim.

“Our agency started blogging earlier this year. We found it is a great way to demonstrate blogging to clients and potential clients and the agency has also benefitted from it. It empowers our team by giving them the opportunity to comment on topical issues affecting our industry and, along with other social media activities, it has helped us create good relationships within the broader communications industry. From a return on investment perspective, it’s increased traffic to our website and enhanced our online presence,” Kim added.

According to Tim Burrowes, editor of media and marketing website mUmbrella, too many agencies tend to form the view that if it doesn’t quickly generate website traffic, they will either not do it or give up after a certain time.

“I’m often surprised about how few PR agencies have blogs. It’s relatively straightforward to do and it’s a great way of demonstrating that you know what you’re talking about when it comes to social media. It’s also an excellent way of learning about it as you go,” said Tim.

Dennis Rutzou, chairman of Dennis Rutzou Public Relations, said some PR firms are simply neglecting their own backyard.

“It’s the same reason a mechanic has a run down car. When you’re focusing on improving someone else’s business, sometimes you forget to work on improving your own, especially when there’s not an immediate pay off.

“In an environment where clients are seeking even more value, it is prudent business strategy to undertake activities that will put you ahead of the pack and make you stand out,” said Dennis.