January 07, 2006

The Blogosphere and YOUR company

Lately I’ve been thinking about if corporate blogging is for everyone? In fact, a recent article by the Harvard Business School talks about this exact point in Does Your Company Belong in the Blogosphere?.

Here are the key takeaways (taken directly from the article):

  1. *Influence the public “conversation” about your company: Make it easy for journalists to find the latest, most accurate information about new products or ventures. In the case of a crisis, a blog allows you to shape the conversation about it.
  2. *Enhance brand visibility and credibility: Appear higher in search engine rankings, establish expertise in industry or subject area, and personalize one’s company by giving it a human voice.
  3. *Achieve customer intimacy: Speak directly to consumers and have them come right back with suggestions or complaints—or kudos.

The first thing that comes to my mind is thought-leadership. A company must exhibit leadership in their field and invite others to take part in the overall conversation, this is very important.

However, the second point of enhancing brand visibility and credibility scares me a bit. Companies must not take this the wrong and start advertising their blog in the Google Sponsoring section just to appear first. In fact, companies should do the opposite…just sit back and be patient. YES, they should take the lead in the conversation, but encourage others to engage. In addition, it is important for a corporate blog to have “important links” that enable the user to learn more about a particular field. Again, the blog becomes a place where users go FIRST for information. (this all enhances the company’s visibility and credibility)

Lastly, speaking to the users is very important. The company must not only encourage comments, but they must listen and take action. Listening and taking action are keys for a successful blog.

Other takeaways from the article are as follows:
  • *Have a distinct focus and goal for the blog’s content.
  • *Feature an authentic voice of the company. CEO is a good idea.
  • *Be open to positive AND negative comments from the readers.
  • *Update the blog regularly, at the very least once a week.

This is all good advice for both corporation and personal blogs. I encourage blogging for both upper management and employees.

In fact, Sun Microsystems is a company that has fully engaged the concept of blogging as they have compiled all 2,000 individual employee blogs into one index…visit here: http://www.blogs.sun.com/roller/main.do

Interesting, isn’t it?

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