Personal branding through blogging
My reasons for writing a human resources blog
May 29, 2012
By Brian Kreissl
Sometimes, people ask me why I blog about HR policies and practices and the human resources profession in general.
The answer is fairly complicated, since there are at least three reasons that keep me writing this blog every week. (All right, so I didn’t do a post last week — but I’ve only missed one this year so far.)
In the interests of full disclosure, I’m blogging at least partially in the interests of promoting our service, Consult Carswell, which is a comprehensive online resource for Canadian HR professionals. There you go, other than my brief bio at the bottom, this is the first time I’ve ever really inserted any kind of commercial for our service in this blog.
But even when I’m writing about something that could be construed as remotely self-serving, I am still very careful to be impartial and provide meaningful information that doesn’t come across as promotional.
In other words, I don’t do advertorials. I don’t think people respect bloggers who are really just advertising copywriters in disguise.
Nevertheless, my hope is readers will check out my blog, see how brilliant I am and decide to subscribe to our service — only joking. In all seriousness, what I’m really trying to achieve in that regard is to give our service a human face (even though it’s my face and not someone who looks like Bar Refaeli).
Authenticity and transparency
The advent of social media has led people to expect a greater deal of authenticity and transparency, even from large faceless corporations. They want to see there are real people behind the products and services they buy.
For this reason, many companies are choosing to use real live people to be their public face. And an organization’s HR department is no different. Therefore blogging can help build an effective employer brand as well as brand identity in the product or service market.
Another reason I write this blog relates to personal branding. Blogging is a great way to promote yourself and be recognized as a thought leader in your field. It’s also nice to be recognized once in a while.
While I’ve never had adoring fans shout, “Oh my God, it’s Brian Kreissl,” and chase me down the street, I’m sure my name must have at least some recognition among HR professionals by now. That’s important to me, particularly because I’ve been away from traditional HR for over five years now. On the other hand, I’m still very happy in my current role.
I believe everyone should look towards the future and have a career plan complete with backup plans and alternate paths in mind should things turn out differently from what was originally expected. Blogging can help in that regard, particularly where you’re blogging about an interest that deviates slightly from your current role. Just don’t expect to land your dream job overnight simply because you’ve started a blog.
Perhaps the biggest reason why I blog is because I thoroughly enjoy it. I love writing, and blog posts are no exception. Blogging is a great way to focus your thoughts and opinions on a particular topic. It also gives others some insight into how you think.
The style of writing here is very different from what I write for Consult Carswell. For one thing, I’m forced to be brief and succinct, and probably slightly less formal. Blogging is also generally more opinionated than other types of writing.
While I occasionally get some flak for some of my blog posts (such as this post from a few weeks ago on taking the CHRP designation to the next level) I enjoy expressing my opinions.
I personally think HR practitioners as a whole should be more willing to express their opinions publicly on topics relevant to the profession. I believe many people in HR are just too worried about confidentiality and being a “team player” to meaningfully discuss issues relating to their roles, organizations and the profession in general.
While there are some good HR blogs out there, I believe there should be more – especially here in Canada. Blogging can help with both organizational and personal branding. It can also help overcome the stereotype that HR people are corporate automatons afraid to take a stand on issues of importance.
Brian Kreissl is the managing editor of Consult Carswell. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit www.consultcarswell.com.
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Brian Kreissl is the product development manager for Thomson Reuters Legal Canada's human resources, OH&S, payroll and records retention products and solutions.