Multilingual Business Communication

November 1, 2008

How to engage in corporate blogging

Filed under: Aagje Verbogen, marketing communication — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 4:44 pm

Many companies are entering the bloggosphere and are starting up corporate blogs. Before doing so yourself, it is wise to read up on some ground rules. A good way to start is by finding out what Nick Reynolds has learned by editing the BBC Internet blog. He writes that the first thing you have to do is to find out what is going on: gather information and motivate your employees to contribute to the company’s blog. However, you should be careful about what you publish as the information you find belongs to one of three categories. These are: “harmless, but still likely to make someone twitchy”, “true but embarrassing”, and “true but, if revealed, would really damage your organisation”. Finally, make your blog impartial and accurate, just like the BBC News.

There is one major problem you should be aware of, though. According to a survey conducted by Forrester, “consumers trust company blogs less than any other channel”. Josh Bernoff explains this result by stating that consumers do not trust companies in general. Still, it is something to take into account if you want to start a company blog. Therefore, Bernoff advises to write less about your company and its products, and to write more about your customers instead. Writing about their problems and solutions will help you gain their trust.

Debbie Weil, author of The Corporate Blogging Book, explains the survey’s results by stating that corporate blogs are boring and are not credible as they are written in “corporate speak”. She also thinks that the survey is stating the obvious as it is known that people do not trust advertising. However, she calls for more research on what works and what does not for corporate blogs and on measuring their effectiveness.

Aagje Verbogen

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1 Comment »

  1. You have definitely chosen a topic that is relevant for this blog. However, I do feel that you could have done more with it, by adding different points of view.
    You do have a pleasant and clear writing style.

    Nick Reynolds, editor of the BBC Internet blog, gives some tips for companies to be more open by having a blog. The BBC’s blog was created to be more open about its services, to communicate to the public what it is doing and to answer their questions.

    Writing for the BBC’s blog has taught Reynolds a few things he wants to share with other companies. The first thing to do when starting a blog is to find out what is going on. This means that you have to gather information and motivate your employees to contribute to the company’s blog.

    The information you find belongs to one of three categories. The first category is called “harmless, but still likely to make someone twitchy”. This is either information you gather directly from the company, such as taking a picture of a chart on a wall, or information that is already public. In the second category, “true but embarrassing”, Reynolds advises companies to reveal problems as they get solved more quickly and as the public approves of it. Luckily, not that much information apart from gossip belongs to the third category “true but, if revealed, would really damage your organisation”. Gossip should not be published without having evidence and reliable sources.

    The author’s final piece of advice is to make your blog impartial and accurate, just like the BBC News.

    Try to incorporate the url in your text, as hyperlinks.

    Marilyn Michels

    Comment by meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie — November 16, 2008 @ 5:02 pm


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