Alex hails from deepest darkest Northumberland, and following a stint studying history at Oxford headed for PR consultancy, with Fishburn Hedges. Realising Facebook was useful for more than just status updates, he set up the PR and Comms Network with fellow FH-er Alain Desmier. Aimed at bringing together PRs in a more relaxed, useful way, the group now has over 3000 members, a blog, and are about to have their latest drinks event. Alex blogs at both www.alexpearmain.blogspot.com and www.prandcommsnetwork.wordpress.com.
How long have you been blogging?
I dabbled at uni, and then, and put my blogging on a more formal footing when I started work. About 18 months in the various blogs I’m currently involved with.
Why did you start?
Like most bloggers, because I’m self-indulgent and self-important? No, more seriously, it’s a combination between an enjoyment of writing, sharing opinions, and importantly a belief that social media offers better opportunities to communicate with each other, which in turn leads to better lives all round.
Do you think blogging has helped your business?
I think every PR has a responsibility to consider how we communicate, individually, and on behalf of clients. There’s no better way to develop social media skills than putting them into practice, which will in turn assist clients.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge about writing a blog?
Undoubtedly having enough [worthwhile] thoughts to share. I’m not a believer in boring on for the sake of writing things, but equally am very conscious of the need to blog regularly to meet your ‘invisible pact’ with readers.
What do you want your readers to know about you?
Well my Twitter bio simply says ‘deeply interesting’. so I’ll stick with that!
Which other blogs do you read regularly and why?
My personal favourites are Fake Steve Jobs and Innocent, which are big parts of my daily routine. When it comes to PR blogs, I have a large number of feeds demanding my attention, but would pick out Stephen Davies, Simon Collister and Ed Lee as those which most often provoke me to thought.
If you knew someone was thinking about starting a PR related blog what advice would you want to give them?
Do it differently. Unless you’re David Brain or in a similarly privileged position, your view will just be one of many. So take a theme, and develop it, or blog from a different perspective. Just not ‘another’ mainstream PR blog.
Do you think Web 2.0 is having an impact on how PR is practiced?
The rumblings have begun, but they haven’t yet translated into a material difference in the lives of PR practioners right across the board.
What’s the biggest challenge in PR?
Making sure you never stand still.
What would be your advice to someone who is looking to embark on a career in PR?
Ensure you actually enjoy media, in all its forms. If you’re not actually all that fussed about magazines, newspapers, blogs, social networks etc, you’re really going to struggle to enjoy anything you’re doing.