Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Corporate blogging part 2

The other day I started a look at corporate blogging. And, as I think about it, the phrase itself is an oxymoron. Blogs are the creations of individuals (or small groups of individuals). The individual voice of the poster is as integral to the success of a blog as the content itself is.

Nothing could be less individual than a corporation. The most successful blogs about corporations (Scobleizer or Mini-Microsoft) are singular voices from within companies giving their perspective on the company. The Johnson King blog (discussed in the earlier corporate blogging post) works for me because the entries are personal and witty, and aren't selling me something. Now, the JK people are communications professionals, so I'd expect a good blog. If you're Silliman's Hardware, it won't come so easily.

I haven't talked you out of doing a corporate blog yet? Some don'ts, then:

1. No posting by committee.
2. No sales pitches in blog posts. Leave that for your website. Blog entries should be interesting, informative and provocative. Period.
3. No PR department ghostwriting for busy executives. If they want to do a blog post, let 'em write it themselves.
4. Don't try to stay on message. It'll sound false.

And some do's:

1. Do discuss issues that are important to your customers.
2. Do have a firm point of view.
3. Be humorous from time to time, if possible.
4. Post regularly.

The blogging white paper that Johnson King PR offers (you can request it here) is a pretty good introduction and is worth a read.

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Easton Ellsworth said...

Thanks for this refreshing post, John. I agree that the phrase "corporate blogging" is oxymoronic, at least in terms of what it initially may suggest to the uninitiated.

Good suggestions. I'll be linking to this post today!

Joe Banks said...

John - many thanks for the kind words re the Johnson King blog and our recent white paper on corporate blogging.

Your advice is spot on - as you've noted, we've made a big effort to produce a blog that actually says something and expresses the company's personality. It's certainly not intended to be a sales tool, but we strongly believe that a good blog can significantly enhance a company's reputation, particularly when that company is in the business of communications as we are.

As such, we're continually surprised at how few UK PR companies (certainly in our sector) have taken the time to create a blog - and those that have often do little more than just link to other stories without actually expressing any opinions themselves. What's the point in this other than to say "look, we've got a blog"...?