Corporate blogs don’t need to be A-list

I spoke with an experienced marketing vice president this week who had launched a corporate blog for his enterprise software firm. The rest of his site was corporate and perhaps a little dry, but the blog leapt out to tell readers the lights were on and there were people working away inside. I congratulated him on the endeavor – it’s not the best blog (needed comments and trackbacks enabled, an RSS feed) but it was a start and quite unexpected.

“Thanks, but I’m thinking of tearing it down,” he said, having only launched it at the end of May. “I just don’t have time to post something every day, and besides we’re a small firm, so frankly there’s just not that much to say.”

The point I made to him is that a corporate blog doesn’t need constant maintenance and daily posts. Just regular updates as and when the company has something new to announce or when there’s a specific topic it has a fresh opinion about. He felt that to be valid the blog had to be a destination news site which visitors would return to regularly. Instead, all it really needs to do is provide an additional channel of communication. If you haven’t got anything to say – don’t open your mouth.

Corporate blogs don’t need to be A-list sites. Even if your company’s target audience is small and you know many of them personally, it can simply be a focal point for discussion and communication. It shows the company is active, thinking, able to respond, has passion, perspective and personality. Sure there are benefits in terms of crisis communication, customer interaction and search engine optimization, but launching a corporate blog needn’t become a burden. It’s simply a communications channel – how you choose to use it and how regularly is up to you.

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  • I agree with your opinion. But I still believe that it is important to stay on the radar screen with daily updates or comments. Too long a silence (and here, it is important to define “too long”) would mean that readers don’t come back too often. The emergence of many good blogs also makes it difficult to keep a long list of blogs on a feeder. Since pruning is required, frequent updates + quality or simply something to think about is required

  • Corporate blog realism…

    Morgan McLintic recently wrote about an enterprise softare firm who were canning their corporate blog because they didn’t have time to publish stories every day. Morgan counselled him that: “The point I made to him is that a corporate blog…

  • Corporate blog realism…

    Morgan McLintic recently wrote about an enterprise software firm who were canning their corporate blog because they didn’t have time to publish stories every day. Morgan counselled him that: “The point I made to him is that a corporate blog…

  • Good post Morgan. I’m glad that there is some realism about Corporate BLogging out there. I’ve read too many Big Media stories about bloggers getting fired – few people understand the benefits of corporate blogging.
    The one thing I always say when people ask is that blogging is AUTHENTIC. You can get past the gobbledygook of marketing speak with an authentic voice via a blog.

  • Jasmine – I agree you need to have regular posts on a corporate blog, but I’m not convinced that a corporate blog need become a favorite. While we all weed our feeds, there is little effort involved in someone monitoring what is going on at a company by subscribing to its blog feed. I track several companies, just to see what is happening, but they aren’t at the top of my feed list. I maybe check them every few days since I’m not expecting something new.
    Of course, reporters tracking a company may have a different view – but then a combined blog + press release feed is preferable.
    David – thanks for the feedback. Authenticity is definitely something a corporate blog can bring. As a different channel of communication it can have a more personal voice, and as you say cut through the marketing hype. It also provides a means for audiences to question and respond, so is certainly a useful comms tool for companies large and small. I agree though, once you start spouting too much corporate spin, then you lose the advantages the medium can bring. Blog readers expect to be ‘talking’ to a human, not part of the marketing machine.
    I’d also highly recommend reading Tom Murphy’s associated post via the trackback above. More great thoughts on that topic there.

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  • After using his products I wonder why he’s being called the bad guy. If he was one then he wouldn’t share his secrets with the open public. His products are the result of his hard work and dedication.