Blogging is essentially a community media, so it makes sense for companies to include their employees in a blogging initiative. Each department in a company offers unique perspectives into the company’s thought process.
HP is one of the company’s with employee blogging. Blogging allows HP to personalize their brand and connect directly with stakeholders. Globally, HP’s blogging has offered audiences the opportunity to join communities with different interests. Blogging has enhanced and improved the brand and reputation of HP.
When HP began blogging, they had to find a way to encourage employees to buy into the blogging initiative. Without prior experience with blogs, the idea of blogging may be scary because of expectations regarding maintenance and readership.
Internally, blogging can help promote an event and support the use of social media. According to Leticia Gow, internal and HR communications manager for HP EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), a communication plan was based around the Cannes Film Festival to create a contest generating buzz about the festival and blogging. The goal was to make blogging fun! Employees did not have to start their own blog and maintain it, instead the first step in the contest was to post on an internal blog. The bloggers followed guidelines and were rated by their peers. The best rated bloggers attended the Cannes Film Festival and posted their experience at the festival on an external blog.
Along with several other companies, HP has promoted employee blogging. HP employees can participate in group or individual blogs on company specific business topics. HP business blogs cover topics ranging from photography, IT management to innovation. There are blogs in several languages including Russian and French portraying HP’s presence in the global community.
What sets HP apart is that employees can blog on a company specific topic, but they also have the option to start a personal blog for fun. Both blogs can be linked to the corporate webpage. The personal interest blogs allow employees to write about their family or personal hobbies. Ashley Sanichar, a client manager in South Africa, uses photos on his blog to share his life and links to the corporate HP website. Other blogs deal with hobbies such as computer programming, cooking, and living with a disability. HP gives the audience an opportunity to see the personalities behind the large company improving brand reputation.
HP prominently lists the blogging code of conduct on the community website. Clear blogging guidelines are given for blogging and commenting.