Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Fortune 500 Corporate Blog Review: Comcast (#94)

Another company with no corporate blogs. Neither a dozen Google searches nor a detailed parsing of the Comcast site map turned up anything resembling a company-authored blog (plenty of complaint-ridden blog entries, however).

This is getting repetitive. And ironic, given Comcast's position as a major force in the broadband internet and its increasing penetration into the content space.

So, rather than bemoan the lack of blogs, I wanted to ponder a bit on why large companies like Comcast don't blog. Some thoughts:

  1. Too risky. Blogs are hard to do well, especially when you're trying to balance between many constituencies. The demands of public ownership, for one, and the strictures of Sarbanes-Oxley can put a crimp in anyone's communication strategy. Yet many companies (IBM, Intel) blog well regardless.

  2. Don't want a lame PR blog. Most executives I've met or worked with don't write their own material. Instead, they have their marketing department or PR firm ghostwrite it for them. That would be presentations, articles for industry publications, op-eds, etc. And blog entries. It's possible these executives realize in advance how weak such a blog would be, and don't bother.

  3. Not a priority; don't see the value. Large company executives like command-and-control, whether or not their organization works that way. And what is the benefit of a "conversation" in a command-and-control environment? People more comfortable with blogging are from collaborative environments such as academia, product development, and web companies.

  4. Unaware. Former Viacom CEO Tom Freston's roast appearance last week (see a good article on it here) made fun of his obliviousness to new technology. ("The first thing I did when I got canned was to go out and buy a computer. I'd been meaning to do it, but thought, I work in global media, who needs a computer?") Note: his speech was ghostwritten.

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Kian Ann said...

I think you are right about why large companies don't blog... I think direct contact with their customers in a sense "scares" them - i.e. many employees are not trained to talk to customers direct. Besides, I also think it is quite hard to measure the ROI in corporate blogging