The first, and most expected, question I was asked when I decided to institute a monthly blog was a resounding “Why?” The question was valid and led me to two answers.
My first answer addressed the need of the organization. When I began working in the communications field nine years ago, “Communications Toolkits” still talked about buying ads in phone books and mailing flyers. Newsletters were folded and shipped from the post office. Organizational communication was still something that was tactile and blogging was a new platform for organizations. As a digital medium it offered an opportunity to engage audiences in a less formal way AND let the blogger or organization “control the message.”
About a decade later there are hundreds of ways to connect with audiences (my smartphone’s home screen offers seven different ways at a glance) and the popular answer to “broader communications strategies” is usually social media. Social media has become an amorphous term that is commonly used to refer to all things that we click, then scroll through, and immediately move on from. It’s short, it’s concise, “interactions” can be easily tracked and best of all, it’s “measurable.” But, does an interaction mean anyone is really engaging?
And that is the first reason for undertaking this monthly blog. Blogging, as a platform, offers a more diverse way to tell stories. We want to not only write blogs, but also experiment with photo essays, videos, and audio to engage different learning styles. It would not be wrong to call this an experiment, although one that has been done before by lots of organizations.
My second answer addressed a personal goal. A deep truth about me is I have, since the early 2000s, always sort of wanted to be Carrie Bradshaw*. In that vein, I will do my best to channel Carrie:
“I couldn’t help but wonder if, in a world where chats are snapped and ‘grams are insta-ed, is blogging retro chic?”
In the coming months, with your engagement, we hope to find out.
*Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in HBO’s hit series Sex and the City (1998-2004)