A blog is practically a journal where a person could talk about his interests, activities, what happened during his day, and basically, anything and everything under the sun. Blogs can also go by themes – political commentaries, fashion, product reviews, photoshop tutorials, and in the case of OC 152, communication trends and new social media.
More than anything, a blog gives its readers a glimpse of the author’s personality – who he is, how he thinks, and even how he acts. Furthermore, it’s a great way of letting friends know what’s going on even if they don’t get to see each other.
Being a blogger myself, having a blog (a personal one, that is) lets me express whatever I can’t say verbally or just lets me blow off steam.
The rise of the internet also initiated a huge wave of bloggers. Today, these netizens have become a demographic in themselves. Bloggers who are especially interesting and active on the net have garnered the status of being opinion leaders. Other bloggers and netizens follow them, making them quite an authority in their respective fields.
And so, if anyone and everyone can become and is becoming a blogger, then why not companies and organizations? With such a huge demographic group of bloggers sitting online, it should be a good opportunity for companies to tap into this audience.
While they could put their ads on blog sites and communities, they could also go a little bit further and become bloggers themselves. The use of advertisements are too static for a group that loves dynamism, constant feedback, and connections. Thus, the creation of corporate blogs.
Companies can bring themselves closer to their audience through their blogs. But what’s wrong with websites? Nothing. It’s just that a blog is supposed to bring out a more personal and down-to-earth side of people and for that matter, companies.
A blog should not be viewed as just another page that is an outlet for press releases, product announcements, and marketing collaterals. You have the website for that purpose.
So what should companies put in the blog? To start off, companies should not confuse company profile with personality. Let me put it this way – everyone already knows what the company is about and what products or services it offers. It’s time to show them the values and qualities that are reflective of its culture. People want to relate with the company through the blog, not just to see it as a static repository for news releases. Companies can do this by transforming press releases into stories. They can bring out a side or a behind-the-scenes take of an event they held or company developments that are special and interesting. The key is being open to the audience.
Secondly, content should not only deal with the usual things. Companies can post case studies, trends, and other topics that their readers and consequently, customers and clients are interested in.
Thirdly, companies should realize that a blog is not a channel to talk TO customers, instead, it is a way to talk WITH them. Company developments, talks on emerging trends and other issues in the industry should generate a conversation between the company and its stakeholders. Product announcements should turn into a conversation where the company can practically give an online demo to its customers. Furthermore, it should become an avenue where customers can tell the company what improvements they want and ultimately, say whether the company is doing a good job or not
Fourth, keeping a corporate blog should not only be a job for the Corporate Communications department. Even employees from HR and Operations have their own stories to tell. What better way to portray a picture of the company than letting every member from every department share their experiences.
Lastly, everything boils down to interaction, interaction, and more interaction. A company is also a social being, since it is practically made of and by people. It has social needs. It has to relate with other people to be able to survive. While the company needs profit to feed itself and keep its internal components alive, it more importantly needs to establish and
sustain relationships with its customers, suppliers, and other concerned publics.
Locally, it seems that companies haven’t really gotten into the idea of corporate blogging. Maybe they fear that having a blog would make them open for criticism. Or maybe they don’t see the need for blogging. Then again, blogging may not be the right strategy for the company. Nevertheless, companies who see the merits of keeping a corporate blogging should take advantage of it and to be not afraid of being open. If people criticize them through their blog, they should take it as a challenge to use these criticisms as points for improvement.
I looked through topblogs.com.ph and saw only one corporate blog (at least one that ranked within the top 50) – jobsdbphilippines.blogspot.com. Aside from news and announcements from Jobs DB, the company also posts several topics like how to make and present good resumes. There are samples for formal ones and samples for those who plan to apply in creative jobs (like advertising, graphic design, etc). Topics like this provide interesting content to the corporate website and not just news releases or other announcements.
At any rate, a corporate blog should be able to communicate WITH and ENGAGE stakeholders. It should not be just about marketing or advertising or PR alone. It’s about bridging the gap between the company and the people. It’s about being social and getting social, because in the end, we are all social beings. Even companies.