When I was in college way back in the 20th century, bumper stickers and tee shirts suggesting that we Question Authority were in vogue. Authority figures were anathema, not to be trusted or followed. (Come to think of it, things may not have changed so much—my kids still behave this way!)

iStock_000020000698_LargeIn the business world, however, authority is still in vogue. We rely on authorities to share insights and provide best practices to help us manage our organizations more effectively, efficiently, and profitably. This is one of the underlying foundations of public relations (my specialty). If you can establish yourself as an authority on subjects that matter to your customers and potential customers, you have taken an important step toward gaining their business.

This is why publicity has always been such a powerful marketing and business development tool. Articles in local and national business and industry press provide a great opportunity to demonstrate your expertise on issues customers and prospects need help with. And there are plenty of opportunities to author bylined articles in local or national newspapers and magazines, or serve as experts to be interviewed for articles.

Blogging offers similar opportunities to assume authority of issues your customers and potential partners care about. In fact, blogs offer a uniquely attractive opportunity because you aren’t constrained by editorial calendars or magazine’s publication guidelines. You can write about anything you want in any format you please. You can construct your messages with a focus on what your audiences want to read rather than on what an editor wants. Blogging can be a wonderfully effective complement to a publicity program too. That’s why you should be blogging.

It pays to be an authority figure if you are marketing a product or service. Blogging and seeking out publicity opportunities are great places to start.