Hello and welcome to my seventh 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.
This time round, my ‘PR blogger’ in the limelight is the Sam Sparks.
What is the ‘meet the PR blogger’ series?
This series has been put together by yours truly to delve in to the inner workings of 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 blogged within the industry 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 (hopefully) posting a new addition to the series once a week, with a new PR blogger in the pipeline every single time.
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.
So, without further ado, here’s my seventh addition of my ‘meet the PR blogger’ series with Sam.
Meet the PR blogger – Sam Sparks.
Introducing Sam Sparks
Sam blogs over on prrahpr.wordpress.com and was a fellow PR student, just like me. We graduated at the same time and he’s now gone on to work full time. Another interviewee who’s just like me! (Us PR bloggers have more similarities than I initially thought).
Sam blogs about current PR affairs and also gives us updates on his PR journey – which include posts about when he was studying the subject at university. I especially liked his post on Barbie and their pledge to inspire more women role models. This was around the time of international women’s day and it’s something I actually missed from the news. I try to keep up to date with everything, but that’s not always as easy as it sounds. Nevertheless, I was glad to have Sam there to account it.
I love that alongside PR posts, Sam also blogs about himself and his life. It’s nice to strike that balance sometimes. Not only does it vary your content, but it also means that your blog is appealing to more people even outside of the PR bandwidth (so nice work Sam).
It was great to catch up with Sam and talk about his PR blog. You can read the interview below.
The ‘meet the PR blogger’ interview with Sam
Jessica: How long have you been blogging for?
Sam: I’ve been blogging from my PR blog since the start of my BA Hons Public Relations and Communications degree at the University of Greenwich in 2015 so I guess for 3 years altogether. However, I did initially have a Tumblr blog back in it’s hay day in 2011 where I would write bits and bobs about my personal life. In addition to my Tumblr blog I used to write about my Sims 3 family trees on a personal WordPress too (embarrassingly enough).
J: What are the main things you blog about?
S: I stick to certain types of topics in my PR blog; usually focusing on consumer PR activities made by brands e.g. Barbie’s International Woman’s Day and other relevant topics which might coincide with what’s relevant in the news at the time.
J: You mentioned that you wasn’t always a PR blogger. Tell me about your Tumblr blog…
S: Before my PR blog on WordPress, I used to just use my Tumblr blog as a place to unload problems I was having at school (problems which are now so trivial) and re-blog aesthetically pleasing pics really but I never expected to use blogging as a means to talk about the industry I would one day want to work in. I used blogging quite informally back on Tumblr but my WordPress can be used in a professional manner.
J: And have you found that having a PR blog has been beneficial to you in the industry? Do you think that your PR blog helped you to get the job that you’re in now?
S: My PR blog has been beneficial to me in the industry as it has enabled me to improve my writing skills and also showcase the different topics and information that is relevant in PR at the time. During my final year at the University of Greenwich, we had to display all of our work we had amounted over the three years at university in an academic portfolio, through work experience, or PR blogging. I used some parts of my PR blogging in my portfolio; I used my blog post I wrote for Baby Arabia, which is an independent language school which is attempting to teach languages through play where I did my work experience as a part of my evidence for my portfolio (the blog post was basically discussing the benefits of children learning two languages opposed to just one).
I think having the blog didn’t benefit me to get a job but it was a good conversation starter at networking events and 100% was useful for interviews!
J: So, do you think you’ll continue with your blog now that you have graduated?
Although I have got a job that I started this June (after graduating in July) I think I will try to continue writing on my blog as I’ll have actual content to write about whilst working in the industry (of course if I’m allowed to write about it!). I will try to attempt to write on my PR blog after graduation – as it is quite fun when a PR activity inspires you to write!
I’m thinking of writing a blog post about how the Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was the morale boost the UK needed during this time of doom and gloom with Brexit negotiations. I may even talk about the recent Irish repeal results.
J: Do you have any PR blogging inspirations? These could be people, or simple reasons that you blog.
S: I don’t have any blog inspirations as such but I did used to follow Vloggers such as FleurDeForce, Wegan and Rose & Rosie who used to tackle some subjects which were interesting on their vlogs and sometimes they reflected these topics they discussed in their videos on their own blogs.
J: What was your main reason for setting up your PR blog?
S: As shallow as it sounds, I just wrote a PR blog to get my name out there, to associate my own name with PR. As well, we were encouraged as a part of my course at the University of Greenwich to write a blog as it may help us in the future for jobs and it helped with my writing (I hope)!
J: Do you have any advice to prospective PR people who may be looking to set up a blog?
S: My advice for anyway starting a PR blog would be to write about something they are actually interested in – don’t just write a blog to write a blog. Find a topic you are interested in e.g. charity PR or fashion PR, and read up about it! Use current affairs in the industry and gather the inspiration to write a thought provoking piece of writing. Also, enjoy what you are writing about too – it’ll show in your writing and it’ll shine through in your writing that you have a passion for certain topics within the PR industry.
J: Why did you chose to study/work within PR?
S: One of the reasons I chose to study PR was down to Samantha Jones in Sex and the City; she was such a powerhouse of a character and she was the first person I realised who worked in PR. Although, they glamourised her job in the TV series, they sold me a dream and I wanted to work in PR! Other reasons were based on the fact you could be creative, you just had to be real with what would work and how different activities would work for different demographics. Finally, it just looked like loads of fun (although, a lot of hardwork)!
J: And finally, what do you enjoy most about PR blogging?
S: It’s strange because when I initially started writing about my blog I was quite negative about it. I just thought no one would care about what I’m writing about and it would be hard to motivate myself to write stuff. Although I have waves of inspiration throughout the year, I do think when you get on a roll on a subject that your fingers can’t stop tapping!
I think becoming passionate about something you never thought you’d be passionate about it what I enjoy the most about blogging.
Connect with Sam
Sam has given me lots of links through which you can connect with him (what a social butterfly!) You can find Sam on Facebook here, Twitter here, Instagram here and of course – you should definitely check out his PR blog here.