"My senior year of high school, I was dating a life-long Auburn fan. I slept the entire drive I took along with his family to a football game--my first-ever SEC football experience--and was instantly mesmerized," said Margie Newman.
"I called my mom and told her I was no longer going to New York University. 'I am going to Auburn!' I declared!" Her Mom asked, "Where is that?" Margie says, "And with complete honesty and excitement I replied, 'I honestly have no idea. But it's magical.'"
"And with that, I applied and was accepted to the Loveliest Village. Those four years changed my life for the better in more ways than I can count!" "Thank Heaven for football," said Margie.
She graduated in 2002 with a degree in Radio, Television & Film. Along the way, Margie was very active on campus. Among her activities:
After college, Margie went on to great success, again. She became Communications Officer for the Tennessee Department of Children's Services in the Office of Governor Phil Bredesen and served in many other government roles. She created award winning media campaigns. Later, Margie went to work as a principal with Hall Strategies, a Nashville public relations agency.
It was during her tenure with Hall Strategies that Margie was recognized by PR News as one of the Top 15 Young PR Pros To Watch. (Listen to podcast below, right.)
PR News Podcast
After Hall Strategies, and winning her PR News recognition, Margie was snapped up by The Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, DC. She worked with Pew Center on the States. Her role included media relations and digital strategy (@pewstates), communications planning, and campaign communications infrastructure.
While in Washington, Margie started a PR networking group called D.C. Flacks. It was wildly popular. The group was even featured in The Washington Post Lifestyle section online and in print.
After six years of industry blogging and nearly three years of Chic-Geeking, my voice is locked in. My purpose is motivational, my writing style is conversational, and my tone is enthusiastic yet authoritative. My focus is also set. On the Chic Geek blog, I write about technology and productivity. On my personal blog, FlackRabbit.com, you’ll find my take on the public relations profession, social media and careers. My audience keeps coming back because they know exactly what they are going to get.
My voice wasn’t always so clear. And until I found it, I didn’t have a consistent online following (or a print column!). If you’re a blogger interested in finding a relevant voice and generating a following, here are four observations that may help you out:
Obsession is key.
Pick a topic and make it the only thing you write on and rant about. For example: my FlackRabbit blog is about PR and geek stuff. When folks visit my site, they expect to read about those things and nothing else. I love hockey, but I don’t blog about it. I also love my husband, but never write about married life. When we have kids one day, I will not turn FlackRabbit into a journal about motherhood. If I did any of those things, I’d lose my audience. The plain truth is that hockey, hubby and kiddos aren’t what my readers signed up for and I respect that.
Your blog is not about you.
If you want your blog to be more than just a pixilated business card, you’ll have to offer folks something. Make them think, encourage them, scare them, anger them—whatever. Just give them something, so they’ll have an incentive to tell their friends about it and eventually return. In between that stuff, you can express your views and establish your creditability. My highest traffic comes from posts that offer tips on PR careers and the Internet. PR folks visit to get information that might make them better at what they do. No one comes to my blog to see what I ate for dinner or how my job is going. (Trust me, I tried that in 2007.) As long as my audience is willing to turn to me for teachable moments, it’s my responsibility and privilege to provide them.
"On FlackRabbit.com, I share my musings about public relations, careers and geek stuff. I began blogging in 2005 so I could be more knowledgeable about how blogs work; if I wanted to advise employers and clients about a communications platform, I sure as heck needed to have first-hand experience with it," said Margie.
"I don't blog about current events, there are plenty of blogs that do that well. Most of what I write about is inspired by my everyday experiences, and those of folks around me. I like to share the mistakes and successes of myself and others so that readers can learn from the case studies of their peers," Margie said.
"My audience is primarily entry-level communications pros. They are hungry of tips, pep-talks and lessons-learned. I try my best to give them useful content," Margie said. "I really enjoy playing to role of career coach and mentor. FlackRabbit.com is one platform that enables me to do that. I don't blog as often as I once did, but I still very much enjoy it. I have so many posts in my head that never make it into pixels."
Today, Margie and her husband Dave have launched yet another adventure. "Team Newman" (as she likes to say) is going West! Say hello to Team Newman: San Diego Bureau.
Here we go again! Team Newman is headed west to beautiful San Diego, California. Dave and I have been offered an opportunity to work together—doing what we love for clients we believe in. The details are still in the works; we will share them with you soon.
It was just three and a half years ago that we announced Team Newman’s move to our Nation’s Capital. We hit the ground running in D.C., thanks to friends like Joe Flood. There was hardly a happy hour/networking event we didn’t grace. Then, we started our own.
D.C. has been good to Team Newman. Since May 2009, we have:
- made lifelong friends;
- had a baby;
- left the well-respected companies we worked for better than we found ‘em;
- ran a 5k (well, my first is this weekend…)
- (I) learned to ride a bike; and
- survived a blizzard.
And those are just the first few fun things that come to mind.
We wish Margie and Dave - plus, their two children, Baby Suzianne Newman & The Porge (their poodle) - all the best. War Eagle!
By the way, a little known fact. "Dave Newman is the reigning Extreme Flyweight Tea-cup Poodle Wrestling Champion of the World! His work site is here and his play site is here. He posts all of his interesting Google Reader links via Twitter (@groovysoup). You should, too." I told you they have a sense of humor.