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January 06, 2009


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Brian Bille

I think corporate blogs work when they're used to teach, educate & inform. I know a "salesy" tone on corporate blog would completely turn me off and I doubt I'd visit it again. However, throwing in a post here and there when teaching, educating and informing is quite alright. IMO a corporate blog can become exponentially more successful when integrated with other social media efforts.

Valeria Maltoni

Thank you for the shout, Paul. Glad Brian brought up the topic of teaching. One of the selection criteria for the right voices I use in my company, especially at C-level, is their desire to and passion for teaching.

One of the most overlooked issues is the human side. Companies have a hard time with people below a certain rank become poplar and known or associated with the company "brand". One of the ways to help with that is having a team - then again, team is a difficult concept in some organizations due to culture.

Thank you for making us think!

Paul Chaney

Great advice Brian. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You are wise beyond your years.

Paul Chaney

Thanks for your reply Valeria. As to making one think, credit belongs to you. Every post of yours stretches me. It's a good thing.

John Cass

Paul, good overview of the issues.

The 30 or so reviews of the fortune 500 business blogging wiki seem to indicate that engagement and interaction is something that's missing from a lot of the f500 blogs.

Jupiter research is owned by Forrester now, so we might have a case of the company disagreeing with itself. Or eMarketer looking for a counter headline. Remember eMarketer uses other people's research to put its stuff together.

I think the Forrester survey has been helpful in my thinking. I'd suggest a company does not need a blog, but really an engagement strategy. If that means using a blog, all well and good, but really what's more important is how a company monitors what is being said and if they respond. I bet if you asked consumers do you trust a company that reaches out to me via the web to solve my customer service problems the response will be high.

Comcast is an example of a company that has a good engagement strategy, but no blog, yet...and Dell took several months to launch its blog after the company had started to monitor and respond to customers. (note: Dell had an earlier Linux blog in 2002 or so)


That was a great post. Thank You!

Ari Herzog

There's a whole other concept which you didn't mention above: corporate blogs that are ghost-written by others.

If you take the stance that time and resources are a blocking force to a corporate blog, and if a consultant is hired to write the content, how does trust relate? Are you more trusting of a company that blogs even if the writer is a ghost? What if you don't know who the writer is?

Julie Roads recently blogged about this, and you can see in her comment section that I'm not a necessary fan.


Paul Chaney

I used to be sortof ok with ghost-blogging, but in recent years, have opted for being more open and transparent.

If your company hires an outsourced blogger, treat them like one of your own and let them be who they are. They can disclaim their relationship to the company without doing a disservice.

Personally, I find it very difficult to put words into other people's mouths.

Julie Roads

Great post, Paul...and thank, Ari for mentioning my post - the comments have been voiced across the board. I still contend that ghost blogging can be okay when the writer is literally that - the one with the tools to put things down on paper - while the client/company should be supplying the philosophy and thoughts.

Paul Chaney

My approach (or "strategy" if you will) is: Listen first, respond, pro-actively engage using whatever means seems suitable, then measure.

While I believe strongly that a blog is a great tool in most cases, it's only a tool and not useful to everyone. It's not a panacea. Listening to the conversation, on the other hand, then engaging in it are absolute necessities.

Paul Chaney

Thanks for your input Julie. I have a friend who does (or did) ghost-blog. As mentioned, at one time I was somewhat ok with that. But, I just don't see the need to cloak the blogger, even if they aren't officially a member of the company. Let them be who they are, disclaim that fact, and move on.

John Cass

We are in agreement on this Paul.

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