For me, PR Conversations has provided a global platform for debating and considering a wide range of classic and contemporary developments in public relations. I have had the opportunity to present some new thoughts and argue my viewpoint in relation to some traditional concepts. The wide range of posts also offers a chance to engage with others whose positions may oppose, or at least run at an angle to my own thinking. Sometimes this conversation has been enlightening and at other times, it has been frustrating. But that’s the delight of providing a platform for the expression of varying viewpoints.
I often come back to PR Conversation posts in my teaching, other writing (citing blog posts from the site in book chapters I have written) and discussion with practitioners and academics. PR Conversations has expanded my own profile and undoubtedly led to opportunities – such as online teaching with US universities – that I would not have had otherwise.
Before getting involved with PR Conversations, I wrote exclusively on my own Greenbanana blog – and similarly, this site existed before my involvement. It was started originally by Toni Muzi Falconi, with Judy Gombita, Markus Pirchner and myself, taking on responsibility for its development with the Redux version launched in June 2010.
Some of the 500 preceding posts pre-date this ‘change of ownership’ and were those we felt were worthy of an ongoing online presence. They can be found under our Seasoned Posts category.
There are a number of these Seasoned stories that continue to get a lot of attention – not least the posts discussing the King reports on governance from South Africa, and the collection of posts on What is PR? collated by Catherine Arrow in May 2008.
Our most popular post ever – which is still a big draw – is not typical of PR Conversations. Written as a team post, Using Twitter for PR Events provides thoughts and advice that continue to get hits, and other social media referrals.
This post raises an interesting aspect of PR Conversations that has developed over the past couple of years. Despite getting thousands of hits every month, this attractive Twitter post has only 12 comments, about half the average number for a post, and only a tenth of the debate on our most heated offerings. In contrast, those that generate a lot of conversation, don’t always light up social media channels.
Another strength of PR Conversations, I believe is the community of contributors and commentators – our conversationalists. Judy in particular is great at spotting and nurturing new people to participate here (as well as promoting the site through Twitter and Google+). We set out to encourage a variety of voices and I believe we succeed in that aim.
We also tackle a good range of topics – revisiting some (such as definitions and the role of women), whilst introducing new ones (including Toni’s posts relating to Muslim PR practice and my own reflections on protest PR). I like to think we’ve often been ahead of conversations elsewhere or at least, that we’ve extended conversations in ways that other blogs don’t.
So thank you to everyone who has read PR Conversations, double thanks if you’ve ever left a comment or Tweeted about us, and triple thanks if you’ve contributed a post.
Whether you are one of these people – or if you are a lurker or newcomer to the site, it would be great to hear your views about PR Conversations. In particular, please let us know if we’ve influenced your thinking or practice – or if you’ve suggestions for future posts and people who’d you’d like us to invite to join in our PR Conversations.