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Blogs


The term “blog” was coined in 1997 as an abbreviation of the phrase “web log.” Blogs are a type of website where entries, or posts, are displayed in reverse chronological order. Blogs grew organically out of bulletin boards, email lists, and other early forms of online community.
 

Common Blogs

Top 5 Internet Blogs

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Huffington Post Logo

WordPress logo

Tech Crunch Logo

Live Journal Logo

Mashable Logo

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Gawker Logo


About Blogging

Blogging allows organizations the most control over message, design, and tone. Popular open-source or free blogging software such as WordPress and Blogger give organizations access to sophisticated technology at negligible cost. Blog templates can be extensively customized and built to replicate the look and feel of an organization’s website.

Of all the social media platforms, blogging requires the highest level of staff time investment. It also requires extensive written copy, compelling visuals, and often multimedia items. Given these issues, creating an organizational blog is often is not a cost-effective social media solution for small-to-mid-sized nonprofit organization, unless they already have many of these resources in place.
 
Instead, we recommend the following strategies.
Blog Outreach
For many nonprofit organizations, a well-placed mention in a widely-read blog is worth significantly more than a month’s worth of posts on a little-read organizational blog. Bloggers should be engaged in much the same way an organization engages traditional journalists. While traditional media materials such as press releases and advisories are often less effective, the following strategies are often effective.

Maintaining Lists
Create a list of bloggers, including those that cover energy, domestic poverty, and green living/the green movement. By commenting on their blogs, sending them emails on good stories, and presenting your organization as a resource, you can start to cultivate an ongoing relationship.
 
Leverage Relationships
When an issue arises that you would like coverage on, send the bloggers you have built a relationship with a quick note rather than a full-blown press release. The note can link back to your organization’s website, a media article, or another online resource you’d like the blogger to write about.
 

If At First You Don’t Succeed…

Bloggers are much like journalists in that they pick and choose the leads they follow. If you don’t get any hits on the first message you send out, think about how you can strengthen the next one – add more compelling content, link to images, video, etc.

Remember that whatever you send bloggers is considered “on record.” Unlike journalists, bloggers will sometimes post pitches, releases, or emails they find egregious or offensive. Be sure not to send anything to a blogger that you are not comfortable becoming public knowledge.

 

Collaborative Storytelling

Another effective blogging strategy is to build a story arc on anti-poverty efforts that transcends any individual organization.
 
The National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) maintains a blog for weatherization-related issues. Creating one central hub for all related stories will ensure that weatherization services have more stature nationwide.

You can send stories to NASCSP that include:
  • Program successes and highlights
  • Innovative techniques and examples
  • Problem solving and pushing the program past traditional applications
  • Interviews with weatherization beneficiaries
  • Interviews with program officers, weatherization technicians, or local community leaders
  • Interesting weatherization-related news, events, or media
  • Weatherization-related photos or video stories and content should be forwarded to info@waptac.org.
 

To learn more about Blogging and how it can be useful in your PIC campaign, download the Blogging Social Media Guide.



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