Companies need to choose a voice to represent their company, either CEO’s, employees, corporate communicators, or anyone else who is willing to take risks with the new social media. The time has come to form two-way relationships built on conversations and dialogue between the company and their audience. Blogs are a way to form relationships by answering questions or giving people information they actually care about. Consumers do not want to hear advertisement after advertisement or press release after press release. Don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting to never mention a company’s product or publish a press release on exciting news your audience may be interested in, just write in a conversational and authentic way. Whoever decides to take on the challenge of maintaining a blog should be aware of their personality and authenticity.
Josh Bernoff, co-author of Groundswell, noted in his blog that people do not trust company blogs. All the information and research Bernoff provides is kind of depressing, but he points out that even though people do not trust blogs, you shouldn’t let that discourage you from blogging. Instead of giving up, think about the reasons and the approach your company should take when blogging.
Valeria Maltoni, Conversation Agent, suggests letting employees get involved if they want, as long as guidelines are created and enforced. She points out that you can’t force people to blog for your company, so who writes for your blog may depend on who is willing to try. She cites a survey by Melcrum and based on the survey, the top perceived benefits of implementing social media strategy are employee engagement, internal collaboration, internal community development, and two-way dialogue with senior executives.
Companies may find that their CEO is prepared to blog for the company or that different departments want to co-write a blog. I will be discussing and showing examples of companies that have started blogging and who are writing for those blogs. If you have any ideas on the best writers of corporate blogs, feel free to let me know!