Thursday, October 27, 2005

We Don't Need No Stinkin' Corporate Blogs

Yesterday’s post elicited the following comment from YDKJ Boy:

Kip- A corporate blog is a challenging proposition.
I see the viral nature but I don't see much of an upside
unless you consider any marketing good marketing.

Regards,

YDKJ Boy

It’s a good post with lots to agree with. Yes, a corporate blog is a challenging proposition--challenging for several reasons (some of which are discussed below). Now, if I understand the main point of YDKJ Boy’s comment, the subliminal message of my post was that a corporate blog is a must-have/must-do for all organizations. Not so! A corporate blog is not for everyone.

If your organization can’t make the following two commitments:

- an ongoing corporate commitment to worthwhile content (delivering quality for short)
- a set of rules governing blog methodology (deciding how it will be done)

then you should stop before you start, because these are requisite for any corporate blog to succeed.

However, if your organization is experiencing decreasing effectiveness in its ‘customer conversation’ marketing activities (e-mail campaigns, newsletters not getting through to the prospect or customer for example), then a corporate blog can be a tool (one among others) to overcome this communication challenge.

Will it be hard to do it? Yes, and harder to do it well.

But when the degree of difficulty becomes the lone decision criteria for opting out of a marketing initiative like corporate blogging (or any business decision for that matter), then the state-of-the-marketing-art will stagnate in short order. Corporate marketers would never do anything above the ambient noise level because ‘well, it’s just too hard to figure out.’

If you’re unsure your corporate blogging aspirations are (to paraphrase) marketing for marketing’s sake, may I suggest an almost year-old report by Charlene Li, Josh Bernoff, and Tenley McHarg at Forrester Research entitled Blogging: Bubble or Big Deal? This provides a great roadmap for a corporate blogging framework. It discusses the key elements of a blog, provides data on the rise of blog user influence, offers a sample corporate blogging policy, and provides a blogger’s 'code of ethics.' (I cite Forrester because they’re an established market research organization, and not easily pigeon-holed as not credible.)

Another great, practical ‘to-do’ list that can help companies get started is Microsoft employee and blogging icon Robert Scoble’s Corporate Weblog Manifesto. This is a blogging classic, and a great treatment on corporate blogging tactics.

Hey, if it were easy, then everybody would be doing it. Fortunately, if your organization already has standard communications and privacy policies in place, then the hardest part of starting corporate blogging is already done.

Great comment, YDKJ Boy! Now, it’s “time for the attack!

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