Conference Blogging: The FPRA shows how it should be done

FPRA 2006 ConferenceA hat tip to the Florida Public Relations Association for the very successful live blogging around the recent FPRA annual conference. To my mind, FPRA blog established a new standard that other PR organizations should study and emulate at their next meetings.

What did FPRA do right?

First, they publicized it in advance of the start of the conference through established blogs. I spotted lead up posts by Josh Hallett at hyku and Erin Caldwell at the Forward Blog. By having established bloggers post about the conference blog in advance of the conference, their established communities of readers were able to subscribe to the conference blog in time to catch all of the action.

Second, the bloggers actually blogged frequently. In my experience, this has been the most frequent failure of other organizations that established conference blogs that remained virtually empty (and unvisited?) throughout the conference. FPRA’s conference bloggers – Josh Hallett, Chris Gent, Jennifer Wakefield and Bob O’Malley – posted more than 70 times leading up to and during the conference. More than enough to attract attention.

Third, the quality of the posts was high – a good mix of informative longer posts with quick hits. This sustained attention.

Fourth, the posts prompted a real discussion. Some posts had as many as 14 comments – which is a lot compared to other PR conference blogs I’ve visited.

Finally, they used multimedia to give visitors that “being there” feeling. A nod to Josh Hallett for introducing hallway interview MP3s to his posts in addition to Flickr photos. A nice touch.

The complete conference postings can be viewed under the Annual Conference category on the FPRA blog.

Congratulations to the FPRA, especially their hardworking bloggers, Josh, Chris, Jennifer and Bob!