Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Wanted: Corporate Blog Writer

So is the idea of a company hiring someone in the role of "corporate blogger" a passing fad or something many well-established companies will be looking to in the coming years. Seems to me the idea is both bizarre and fascinating. Why would a company hire someone and give them supposed free-reign to talk about the goings on behind the cubicles? Ten years ago the idea would be heresy, but in the fast-pased "new" business world, it seems perfectly logical.

I think this position really works well if the conditions are right: 1) Blogging has to fit the corporate culture (Think: a company which embraces business casual 5 days a week). 2) The company has to be innovating in ways that their potential customers find interesting (who wants to read about chewing gum) 3) The blog does not look, feel or sound like it's written by a committee or by the Marketing Department.

I applaud companies who have tried it as an official position (Stonyfield Farm, GM) or who have allowed it to go on in a more unofficial way (Scoble at Microsoft). I'd like to see more companies take the plunge.

If this is all in place, it sets the company up in a position of thought leadership, drives traffic to its Web site, supports its initiatives and gets the attention of the media. Hey, wait, that sounds like Marketing's job. Maybe so, but at the same time, this could be marketing that works.

1 comment:

Melanie Surplice said...

Hi Glenn,

Interesting post about corporate blogging - I agree that it's only going to work if it fits the culture of a company.

I was interested in your comment about how corporate blogs can't look like they're written by the marketing department - should corporate blogging be reserved for more technical people or is it more the tone of the blog that dictates whether readers believe what is written on the blog?

I'm one of Factiva's PR Managers and I've recently started a blog about PR and corporate communications. I would hope that the material on my blog is distinctly different in tone than that of our corporate messaging - but I also genuinely believe in Factiva's products, so I can't help but be enthusiastic about them in my posts.

I came across the term synthetic transparency, which I think offers a good warning to corporate bloggers - if these blogs aren't genuinely open, honest and informative, the blog will lose credibility and readers will move on.