2012 PR33 – Top PR / Communications Blogs
Before unveiling the 2012 PR33 list, here are a couple of semi-personalized notes.
– To the bloggers listed below – many thanks for the quality content over the last 12 months. Also, please don’t feel like you need to send me a public thank you. That’s not why this list was created.
– To visitors looking for top PR / communications blogs – this list reflects countless hours of labor, but it is far from an all-inclusive list. Please feel free to comment below and add your favorites.
– To the bloggers who were on last year’s PR33 but not on this year’s list. It’s not you. It’s me. See companion post for more details.
To those of you about to comment that you hate these ‘best of’ lists – why are you still here?
Finally, wanting this list to be about the folks listed below, any and all further commentary, information, disclaimers and even some bonus selections, can be found on a separate post – Now the Rest of the Story – PR33.
In no particular order – the 2012 PR33.
InkHouse Inklings Twitter: @bamonaghan or @InkHousePR Leading the 2012 class is Inklings, which is a fantastic example of agency blogging done right. Want to know what makes a PR33 blog, look no further. The blog includes a steady flow and perfect balance of industry specific subjects with entertaining human interest type of posts. Beth Monaghan’s writing is what first won over this blogger (Exhibit A – Breaking News: When to Speak Up and When to Shut Up), but she is also joined by a number of talented bloggers. InkHouse and its blog continues to bring the goods week after week.
The Steveology Blog by Steve Farnsworth
A returning PR33 blog and a favorite of this blogger, Steve has evolved as well as anyone in social media, from humble beginnings as TheRealPRMan, to his Digital Marketing Mercenary blog, Steve never fails to entertain and educate. Currently, he is creating video content as well and as fast as anyone. He always leads the list of must follow on Twitter. New disclaimer, I finally had the opportunity to meet Steve in person and he is just as smart and funny in real life as he appears online.
PR in Pink by Krista Paplau
Not sure how to best characterize this next comment, but no one on this list makes this reader smile as much as Krista. Practically every new post, comment and tweet brings either a warm smile or a full-on belly laugh, often complete with snort. It’s not all about humor, her posts are smart and insightful like when she is declaring independence from PR stereotypes. Her sense of humor and her writing style are a joy. She also gets extra credit for staying involved in PR blogging even though she is no longer part of the industry’s daily grind. This gives her a unique and valuable perspective. Enough said.
Words Done Write by Amber Avines
Thank you to PR in Pink (listed above) for the nomination and for bringing this gem to this bloggers attention. This blog is proof positive that spending so much time creating this type of list is worth the effort. There are so many reasons to read this blog and here are just a few favorites: Amber’s 9 Tweets You Need to Stop Sending and 12 Reasons I won’t Follow You Back on Twitter, but to be honest she won over this reader with the line, “…you know who won’t be stopping by my blog today? The Amish.” Also, a must follow on Twitter.
Ishmael’s Corner by Lou Hoffman
Another PR33 alum that never disappoints, Lou Hoffman is the PR33’s official storyteller. Seriously, he never fails to surprise with his unique and uncanny ability to pull out information that others (myself always included) easily miss. This reader for one finds his posts to be quite amusing no matter what Google analytics says. Subtle reference material for that last line can be found here.
While its place on this list is based on the entirety of the work, here is just one example of the posts that really won over this reader On Social Media Bullies. It is Shonali Burke that keeps this blogger reading and coming back, but she has built a full stable of contributing bloggers. Shonali also presents a great example of how to write an proper ‘about’ section.
One Guy’s Journey by Jason Mollica
Jason has evolved this past year as much as any blogger on this list. He has always been on this bloggers short list of must reads, but in the past few months as Jason’s career has been transforming, he has been incredibly honest, forthcoming and sincere about his journey, making his blogging even more thought-provoking. Readers are treated to a glimpse of Jason’s very human side and the recent inclusion of video posts only adds to the experience. It doesn’t hurt that he seems to be a really good guy.
The PR Coach by Jeff Domansky
Jeff Domansky’s site is an all-inclusive one-stop destination for all things PR. While selection on this list is based on his blogging, it must be noted that the PR Coach site contains so much more than ‘just’ great blog post like Ten PR Truths. It is a true destination site for PR professionals. In fact, the Coach also comes through for those looking for a longer list of PR blogs. While, no records were kept, it is a safe guess that many of the blogs on this list were found by reading The Coach.
From A to Z GroupPR by Jules Zunich
Regular readers of this blog and companion Twitter stream will be very familiar with Jules. Her wit and sense of humor is what first got this reader’s attention, but don’t overlook her knowledge of all things PR. She knows her stuff and always finds way to highlight the human and personal element of our industry. Jules’ posts are all different and unique, but here is a decent sample of what kind of quality posts are being missed by non-followers – Agency or In-House? The Marianne & Ginger of PR.
Soulati – Tude by Jayme Soulati
Lots of good stuff at Jayme Soulati’s blog, but what really brings readers back is how well she weaves in personal experiences and personality into her posts. Sometimes simply reading her Twitter stream about a certain post or the conversations taking place in the comment section of her post, can be more educational and entertaining than some people’s entire blog. She does a better job than most of soliciting reader input. Anyone that wants to learn how to engage readers needs to look no further than Jayme’s blog.
As well as anybody, Doug provides a balance of smart, actionable advice, personal insights and interesting and entertaining posts. His is one of only a small handful of communications blogs that I’d point young professionals to as a role model / case study example of blogging done right. One of this reader’s favorite post from the past year has to be Personal Brands at Companies Solved; What Everyone Needs is a BJ. He is so inspirational that this reader may sign up for next year’s Pan Mass Challenge.
Public Relations and Managing Reputation by Craig Pearce
Craig keeps a solid flow of content and has been kind enough to share his rolodex with the world by featuring a number of guest bloggers. He is also on short list of folks I need to have a beer with – next time I find myself on the other side of the globe. While the industry is currently talking about defining PR, Craig was ahead of the curve writing about a full rebranding for PR months ago – The future of public relations: a rebrand? He also keeps his own list of bloggers that is worth checking out.
Convince and Convert by Jay Baer
Like a number of other picks on this list, Jay Bear falls under the ‘uh no duh’ category. Making these selections can be viewed as saying I like coffee, beer, and long walks on the beach – in other words who doesn’t. But sometimes just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Honestly, while this list gravitates more to the people that are really worth reading as opposed to those that are inexplicably popular, sometimes popular people are right too. In other words, Jay is probably already on most people’s radar, but that is because he deserves to be.
Not sure if she’ll appreciate the distinction or not, but she is this lists’ unofficial favorite numbers-based blogger (or PR33 UFNBB for short). Looking for 30 definitions of social media? Need 31 different definitions of public relations? Researching 56 must have mobile marketing facts? No problem. New to blogging, well check out 125 of Heidi’s blog topic suggestions. Make no mistake, it is not Heidi’s counting ability that landed her on this list. Her post are not all lists and tips, in fact her blog is one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking on this list.
A Shel of My Former Self by Shel Holtz
Shel’s inclusion on this list probably should come with an apology – to Shel and readers of this blog – for not including Shel on last year’s list. While always a favorite of this reader, his inclusion on this year’s list is a reflection of the changing landscape of communications. My take – maybe incorrect – is that Shel is more about the business and technology side of the industry. While he probably hasn’t changed in the past year, his inclusion on this year’s list is a reflection of the growing importance of those issues to a flack like me and hopefully also a reflection of my growth as a reader. (My version of a humble brag).
CommunicationsConversations by Arik Hanson
This year’s comment regarding Arik’s blog is very similar to last year. Simply put, he is one of those people that never fails to make the rest of us feel like slackers. Seemingly tireless, he is one of the best bloggers, the founder of Help a PR Pro Out (HAPPO), contributor to Ragan.com, PR Daily, PR Breakfast Club and listed on any number of best of lists. His is a top-shelf blog without any doubt.
Spin Sucks by Gini Dietrich
Although I’m still not convinced that she doesn’t have a large group of content creators locked in her basement, this so called ‘Gini’ person writes (blogs and tweets) and records videos faster than her audience can read. It is to the point that I have a reoccurring calendar entry once a week with an hour set aside to catch up on all things Gini. Well, not really, as that would be creepy, but the point is valid – she is absurdly smart, super entertaining and ridiculously prolific.
PR Communications by John Cass
John is yet another perfect example of why this blogger is willing to spend countless hours creating this list of top bloggers. Not sure how his blog didn’t get recognized here earlier, but we’re not here to talk about the past, so let’s just celebrate that John’s blog has risen to become a top favorite. The more time spent reading John’s blog and his Twitter steam the more often two questions come up – one, why did it take so long to discover this quality blog, and how is it he and I have never met. In looking at his blog, LinkedIn profile and Twitter stream, we appear to know many of the same (Boston area) people, yet I’ve never had the pleasure. Maybe in 2012.
The Future Buzz by Adam Singer
Another PR33 repeat-offender, Adam is a long-time favorite of this blogger. It sounds cheesy to say, but everything he writes is good, so luckily he was kind enough to provide a one click stop for his best of 2011. Note that he is being very modest limiting this list. There were lots of other must reads published by Adam in 2011. Don’t take this blogger’s word for it, poke around a bit.
The Human Side of Media and the Social Side of Marketing by Danny Brown
More than anyone on this list, Danny Brown makes me laugh and think. A fantastic wit and perspective. In addition to his Human Side blog, he is also the founder of For Bloggers By Bloggers and can be found at Punk Views on Social Media, where this self-proclaimed former Punk Rocker creates a venue for authors “who aren’t afraid to take chances with their posts and shake things up a little in the social media blogosphere.” In short, Danny can be found everywhere…well, except maybe on Klout.
With content driven by Judy Gombita and Heather Yaxley, who can also be found at (Note: special bonus blog recommendation) Green Banana. With an interesting history, PR Conversations was originally launched in 2007 by Toni Muzi Falconi, who created it as an international, collaborative PR-blog concept. Apparently it was successful. Over the years it has had more than 370 posts from a variety of contributors. In other words, it has a long history of providing quality content from a wide variety of industry voices.
Exploring the Intersection of Communications, Marketing and Social Media by Dave Fleet
Another long-time favorite of this blogger. Dave Fleet was one of the first bloggers I started reading just prior to starting my own blog. He made it look so easy with thoughtful and insightful blogs on a regular basis. I quickly learned that it isn’t as easy as he makes it look, but I don’t hold this against him. Simply put, he is one of the best. Also, he just posted a list of 12 bloggers to follow list that is worth checking out.
Business Grow by Mark Schaefer
One of the reasons many of us read industry blogs is to learn and grow (pun intended) and Mark, probably more than anyone on this list, made me question many of my personal beliefs about industry blogs. Generally speaking, blogs with lots of guest bloggers, a large number of different voices, a post-a-day level of activity, a significant amount of video content, and clearly tied to an individual business, are not favorites of this blogger. But that being said, what Mark has built here proves to be the exception to all of these rules. With over 270 posts in 2011 including guest contributions from over 40 contributors and an ever-increasing number of video posts, this blog is one of the best. Good thing he never asked my advice.
Beyond the Hype
Another returning favorite, LPP’s blog is agency blogging at its best. A good crew of regular authors hitting a variety of topic from media, public relations, to coverage of the local (Boston) sports teams, this blog has caused this blogger to rethink his earlier prejudices of group / agency blogs. As noted above, I’ve often said, that I’m not a fan of blogs with multiple authors, yet with quality contributions from top shelf bloggers Don Jennings, Ted Weismann , Bill McLaughlin, Lois Paul and others, Beyond the Hype is a must read every day. Disclaimer, I worked at LPP many many years ago and still like these people. There, I said it.
Content Institute by Joe Pulizzi
On Twitter: @Junta42
Joe Pulizzi’s inclusion on the list provides me with yet another humble brag’ish type opportunity, as his inclusion on this year’s list marks my growth as a reader. His focus on content marketing is much more in line with my current thinking than it was last year. Of course he outdoes this list with his well-regarded top 42 content marketing blogs.
Flack’s Revenge by Bob Geller
It’s difficult to interact with Bob and come away with any opinion other than he is one of the more thoughtful communications folks. Like most of the people on this list, Bob does an exceptional job of maintaining active on social media, but the impression one gets from reading his post regularly is that he never posts something just to keep a regular schedule or to hit an artificial deadline. Everything he writes has clear purpose, well-articulated key messages and thoughtful conclusions. This blogger’s judgment (which may be way off) is that he is naturally a man of few words and therefore makes every post, tweet and comment count for something.
Sword and the Script by Frank Strong
Frank does more by 9 a.m., than I do in a full day…or something like that. Like many of the folks on this list, Frank is also a must follow on Twitter. He is always quick to join a conversation, share an inspirational story and provide his clear opinion. I give him credit not only for his level of engagement, but also his conviction and professionalism. Like few others, Frank can tell you that your opinion is way off-base and that you are out of your mind in a way that makes you appreciate the feedback.
Socialized by Joel Postman
The former Cisco communications guy recently turned Brocade staffer, Joel Postman is a must read because unlike most blogs out there and even on this list, Joel has more of a corporate communications perspective which is often much different than the agency / consultant view point. It has long been the opinion of this blogger that the online communications community would benefit from more internal communication voices. Joel goes a long way to filling that void.
PR at Sunrise by Andrew Worob
Andrew as much as anyone is plugged into – for lack of a better term – the PR pop culture. He is always commenting or driving conversations that clearly resonate with a large segment of the industry. He has really built a following and continues to provide his audience with a steady flow of PR specific commentary that is a great resource for everyone, but especially for young professionals still finding their way in the industry. A recent favorite from Andrew was Are You a PR Puppet or a PR Counselor?
PR Warrior by Trevor Young
Trevor Young is highly regarded as a top blogger in Australia who came to my attention just a bit too late to make last year’s list – my fault. His has been a must read ever since. Not sure if it is just a result of the Internet making the world a smaller place or not, but there seems to be a growing number of quality PR folks from Australia. Trevor just nails it. Solid, on-point, always good topics, strong opinion, educational etc. all in all, another must read. Interested in hearing what he has learned while blogging for four years? There is a post for that. He also keeps a solid list of recommended bloggers that is worth checking out.
The Buzz by Mike Schaffer
Professor Schaffer is one of those bloggers that readers drop everything to read his new posts because he does a good job of being predictably unpredictable. His posts hit on a range of topics not always confined simply to public relations or social media measurement etc. You never know what you are going to get, but you know it will always be entertaining.
HighTalk by George Snell
One of this blogger’s most recent discoveries. Not sure how his blog didn’t find its way to the top of the must read list earlier, but thanks to a local (Boston) industry event (Publicity Club of New England) the introduction was made and George’s writing did the rest. Usual disclaimer, this post isn’t the reason he is on the list, but it is a good sample – How to Spot a Social Media Consultant.
C-Level Strategies by Lisa Petrilli
Probably the most unique selection on the list. Lisa’s blog, as the title suggests, is more about business than it is about day-to-day public relations, social media and marketing activities. That being said her writing is as relevant as any on this list. Admittedly, this blogger was originally drawn to Lisa’s writing based on her Introverts Guide and related blog posts on the subject, but the inclusion on this list is based on the value, insight and total subject matter addressed on her blog.
Thus concludes the 2012 (and probably last edition) of PR33. As a special bonus, here is the 2012 PR33 Twitter list. Yes, this includes more than 33 members as some blogs have multiple contributors and some have blog specific Twitter accounts.