Hello and welcome to my tenth interview of my ‘meet the PR blogger’ series.
I’m slowly but surely working my way through the masses of wonderful PR bloggers that i’ve interviewed – so keep your eyes out every week for new additions. I’m almost finished, so if there’s any PR bloggers reading this that would be interested in getting in touch – drop me a message!
This time round, my ‘PR blogger’ is Paul Sutton!
What is the ‘meet the PR blogger’ series?
This series has been put together, in short, to delve in to the PR blogging industry. PR blogging is a niche area, but an incredibly interesting one. Therefore, I am committed to finding as much out about it as I possibly can. I want to leave no stone unturned. Having ‘PR blogged’ for over a year myself, i’m all too familiar with the quality content circulated, the brilliant connections made and the overall fun of it all. PR blogging is certainly a niche worth getting involved in and I hope this series will encourage some to do so.
I’ll be posting a new addition to the series once a week, with a new PR blogger in the pipeline every single time. Look out for some big names as I’ve got some fantastic PR-famous people on board.
If you’re a PR blogger, or simply work in PR/business yourself then I couldn’t recommend connecting with every participant in this series more. Each interviewee has been chosen due to their outstanding skills and expertise in the areas of business & PR. Alongside, of course, the quality of their blog.
Here’s my tenth addition of my ‘meet the PR blogger’ series. This time, it’s featuring Paul Sutton.
Meet the PR blogger – Paul Sutton
Paul’s blogs can be found over on his own branded website, paulsutton.co.
Paul actually started blogging almost a decade ago, back when I was just 12 years old or so! That’s incredible dedication to the cause and I am so dumbfounded to have such an established and creditable blogger involved in my humble little series.
As well as being a fantastic blogger, he’s also an established digital media consultant who delivers tons of social media talks and engagements. Oh, and not only this, but he also gives some great advice. One of his latest posts about a mistake he made in blogging truly inspired me to build up my email subscribers whilst i’m still a relatively new blogger; so that’s why you’ll be seeing those little reminders at the bottom of every blog now to sign up to my mailing list.
In Pauls words: ‘in the last five years since he returned to PR and marketing, he’s been lucky enough to put all of that learning into practice with some fantastic brands. Among many others, he’s had the honour of working with the likes of Honda, Macmillan, AXA, Goodyear and Interflora. His work has won 16 digital marketing industry awards in the last three years alone.’ So, it’s safe to say i’m almost a little intimidated to have such a big name in the industry on my little blog.
Find out more about Paul and his impressive career in the interview below.
The ‘meet the PR blogger’ interview with Paul
Jessica: How long have you been blogging for?
Paul: I started blogging back in 2009 so I’ll be celebrating a full decade of my blog (in various incarnations) sometime next year. I take a lot of pride that I’ve lasted that long. Pretty much all of the guys I followed when I started blogging have long since given up.
J: What was your main reason for setting up your blog?
P: I wanted to get a job! It’s that simple! I’d been contributing to an agency blog for a few months, and when I decided to move on I figured it would do no harm at all to be able to point a potential employer to my blog so they could get a feel for the way I think. After that I found I enjoyed being vocal and loved hearing back from people who read what I wrote.
[Side note from me: “I love it when bloggers come out with this reason. It’s honest and straight to the point, plus – it’s pretty much the same reason as to why I started blogging too. It’s amazing to see how well Paul has done with his blog. I can only hope to go as far one day!”]
J: What are the main things you blog about?
P: I’m a digital marketing consultant, so I write about what I know. For a long time I wrote largely exclusively about either social media or public relations. But as digital marketing has become more holistic and I’ve worked in more areas, my subject matter has broadened. I now write about anything from SEO to artificial intelligence.
The important thing for me though is not so much WHAT I write about but HOW I write about it. I don’t write practical tips or ‘ten ways this can influence that’ type posts. Instead I try and take a progressive approach to make people think. I can be somewhat combative, but I just say things as I see them, and if a post I write challenges just one person’s opinion or makes them think differently, then I’m happy.
J: Have you found that having a PR blog has been beneficial to you in the PR industry?
P: Hugely. Blogging raised my profile massively within the industry and opened up a tonne of opportunities. I also believe that being so consistent over so many years and having a distinct voice was probably the major factor that enabled me to set up as an independent consultant in 2014. Pretty much all of the work I gained in the first 18 months came from people I already knew through social media and blogging.
More recently I’ve been on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire programme, been approached by ITV News and had a semi-regular feature on Talk Radio, purely because journalists had read blog posts. And then there’s the effect of a blog on search rankings. I get business enquiries now because people have found my website in search results; the reason I appear in those results is largely down to the blog.
[Side note from me: “Well how’s that for some serious inspiration? If you’re ‘umming and ahhing’ about setting up a PR blog; just imagine writing a post then landing yourself on a TV show as a result. This is incredible Paul”]
J: That’s incredible! So where do you get your ideas from? Do you have any PR blogging inspirations?
P: I blog for two reasons. First, it’s my way of sorting out my head. I use my blog to vent about industry stuff that annoys me, and I use it to think things through. From that perspective alone it’s invaluable. And second, I genuinely want to inspire, educate and help other people. I take massive satisfaction from helping others, and the blog allows me to share my thoughts, ideas and opinions so that others may benefit from them. As an aside, I also believe that giving knowledge away for free pays in the long run in other forms (like media interviews, speaking gigs, new business and potentially even bigger things).
[Side note from me: “So you’re your own inspiration? I love that! I think more of us should find out why we blog and use that as our drive to keep on going”]
J: Do you have any advice to prospective PR people who may be looking to set up a blog?
P: Do it. Now. It’s that simple! Just get started. Don’t even worry about whether anyone’s reading it to start with while you find your feet. Find and use your own voice; don’t copy other people’s style. Experiment with different topics and ideas and styles of blogging to find out what works for YOU. Blogging is very personal; you’re going to be putting yourself out there. So make sure your blog represents YOU.
J: And finally, what do you enjoy most about PR blogging?
P: All of the above! I love the process of blogging; being able to vent when I want to or try out new ideas. I love the feedback I get, whether that’s someone in agreement or someone who thinks I’m wrong. It’s all part of it. I love seeing people share my posts as it means I’ve written something that resonated with them in some way. And I love the effect that it has in the long term. It’s a very rewarding thing to do.
Thanks Paul – you’re a true inspiration and PR powerhouse. Your answers are insightful and honest and I love that!
Connect with Paul
Head over to paulsutton.co to read some of Paul’s blogs or catch some of his podcasts here.
You can keep in touch with Paul on Twitter, Instagram or even Facebook.
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