To say that blogging is one of the best features of the Web 2.0 will be an understatement. Not only has blogging enabled normal Internet users like me to document whatever selfish details of their lives are for all the world to see, it has also handed a challenge to companies. That challenge can be summarized in two words: corporate blogging.
In all honesty, I haven’t read a single decent corporate blog in the Philippines. There. I said it. I’ve heard about the best corporate blogs there are and that includes Dell’s and BBC’s. There are even CEO bloggers like Craiglist‘s Craig Newmark, who surprisingly have the time for corporate blogging. But no, not in the Philippines. Our lecture in corporate blogging made me realize how it is nearer to talking with people than it is to achieving organizational goals. That said, Philippine companies should be brave enough to face the fire and try corporate blogging; they’ve listened long enough. Why not let us listen to what they have to say?
A word of caution to Philippine companies from an Organizational Communication student and a proactive Internet user, though: Don’t even think of corporate blogging if..
You’re not going to promote it anway.
With gazillions of websites in the Internet, how can you expect your corporate blog to be read by the unsuspecting reader? Two things: first, it has to have engaging content; second, it has to be promoted. I’m a firm believer that content is the be-all and end-all of everything, so if you can’t manage to get great content in your corporate blog, you might just as well not make one in the first place.
In promoting your blog, you should have a clear cut plan: identify who your target readers are and strike at the heart of where they are. Once you’ve caught their attention, make sure they never stray away.
You don’t have the heart to update.
Even the lousiest bloggers I know can update their blogs every so often. And once they do, it’s anything but unreadable. The last thing you want is to be a has-been corporate blog that was read by people at some point in the past. Worse, your outdated corporate blog can even damage your reputation.
Make sure you are willing to invest time and effort in your corporate blog. A great amount of both is needed to keep your blog rolling. And remember: no one wants a rotten apple.
You don’t want to listen.
More than a tool of getting information out to the public, your corporate blog is an instrument for you to hear out your readers’ thoughts. It can come in the form of responding to their comments, asking feedback at the end of every post or seeking their input on a new product you’re about to release. The feeling of having to listen may be unusual at first, especially if you’re used to heavy trimedia advertising. Try listening, though. You’ll surprisingly get a lot out of it.
You want ease and convenience.
A study conducted by my professor on corporate blogging in the Philippines revealed ease and convenience as primary reasons for convincing supervisors to try corporate blogging. Something is very wrong with this reason.
Corporate blogging isn’t easy, especially if you’ve never tried it before. Rewards can be dire and almost impossible to come by. Sustaining reader interest is a science in itself. Responding to reader comments one after the other is a tireless job. It is not easy and convenient.
You’re not a person.
Are you planning to post news articles on your corporate blog? Never mind. Corporate blogging is not about posting news updates on your website. There’s another place for that–your (probably boring) company website. What your corporate blog has to have is the voice of a real person, someone with a perspective, a mind and heart. Someone willing to listen and respond. You know, like a normal human being.
Before even thinking of corporate blogging, make sure you have a blogger in the first place. A blogger–that’s what you call someone behind a blog, corporate or not.