In fact, the idea to do something different came from my new Public Relations Tools class. My students and I spent our first week creating blogs using either WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr. As they were selecting their templates, it occurred to me that my blog looked boring. I had been using the same template since I started this, and it became just easier not to mess with it.
But I recalled that the most frustrating time of my PR career was when I had a senior position at a large, established organization (I won’t say which one). I was hired as an agent for change, and yet the mindset around me was, “We’ve always done it this way so there’s not reason to change now.” There was resistance from every corner. It was too hard for the people there to find new and better ways of doing things.
I was reminded that we should approach every task–especially the ones we do regularly–with the goal of doing it better than before. The best public relations practitioners are those who constantly seek new approaches. They find better ways to pitch stories, or create a new look to a publication or online product, or make cutting-edge plans to address a difficult situation. This lesson goes for the little jobs, too. Newsletters, event signage, tweets and yes, even blogs, should be tackled with tweaks and adjustments designed to make it better each time.
Hence the new look for Public Relations Nation. And the part I had most fun with was the image beneath the heading. Because I had chosen a template with a very rectangular aspect ratio, I couldn’t use a conventional headshot. So I experimented. My students got a giggle from it and gave it a thumbs up. And I’ll be ready to tweak the blog again, finding ways to improve it each time I post. Your thoughts?