Making the most of blogging for corporate communications
What’s blogging and what’s it got to do with corporate communications?
Blogs are still being perceived in the same way that websites first were, if I build it, they will come – sadly they didn’t. Or at least not in the way that you expected.
Websites are critical to marketing and branding and are a fantastic knowledge resource or storefront for you.
Before I meet anyone, I head over to their website to try and get a sense of personality, culture, values and what they do. I love to read their blogs, so I can get a feel for how they think and what they think.
It’s the blogs that really bring a person or organisation alive.
It is my firm belief that corporate / business / personal blogs can be a powerful communication tool that really can build brand awareness and create a sense of community, both inside and outside of the organisation.
To research this article I went back to look at organisations that I have worked with to get a sense of where they are with their blogging. I was disappointed – their blogs are mostly nothing more than a hub for press releases.
It is clear to me that without a passionate person, who engages with the people at the coal face and delves inside the organisation looking for stories that bring the brand alive, corporate blogs are boring and a waste of time. a shame.
Blogs were originally thought of as a way to generate traffic
Yes they do, but they are more about building brand and keeping your readers (aka your customers and other stakeholders) up to date with what’s going on – i.e. constantly reminding them about your brand, products/services and brilliant people. Of course building up readership takes time, but my guess is that if you are sending out newsletters or some other digital communications, then these blogs can enhance those.
If your blog has died a death, it’s probably because there is no one committed to it.
You need a plan, a schedule, contributors and more importantly link it to your key messages and critical success factors.
And let me tell you, people love having their ideas and thoughts shared – it’s a way to build their personal brand and reputation.
Comments equals feedback
Invite comments. If you already know about the power of social media to get valuable feedback, then think what it will be like to get feedback on a much more thought provoking article?
Comment is about conversation and on your blog you get both an opportunity to speak and to listen to what your community thinks. So instead of pushing out ‘yeah more fab products’ discuss the technology behind it or the impact on the world – and invite questions and feedback.
Stop pushing out rehashed press releases
PR is vital in my opinion, however, press releases are written in a way to create news for journalists, which is great. Try rethinking how your news affects the world or the people in your community and make it interesting to other kinds of readers – who I am sure will thank you for not sending them to sleep.
If you want to put your PR on your blog, put it in its own category, away from the exciting stuff and then if people read, great, if they don’t even better, because they will get more from your blog stories and conversation – won’t they?
Blogs should be passionate, interesting and informative
People do business with people that they know like and trust. They want to talk to people not read technical specs. They want to get a feel for your culture and to know that you are just the sort of organisation that can help them to be more successful.
Your blogs should be about people with a focus on their roles and sharing the things that they are passionate about. Not only is it about what or how they do something, it’s about revealing their personality.
Blogs need cultivating
Not all marketers are comfortable with this blogging malarkey. Blogging is not traditional marketing and, in my opinion, needs someone who is comfortable with communicating with, listening and exploring stories from people from different roles and backgrounds with differing opinions, views and ideas. And also worth considering is, that writing a blog which is very personable, is different from writing for other corporate communications – it can be tough to switch styles.
Your blogging marketer is an editor who looks for spokespeople who can write, who are happy to be interviewed or is someone who is willing to be your mouthpiece.
Reuse the resources
Video, for example has multiple uses, one, you can use it for your blog as a powerful way to engage and two, it makes a brilliant resource for your training library or knowledge bank.
Enjoy letting your competitors see how brilliant you are
So many organisations worry about their competitors finding out about what they are up to. By the time they have read your blog, I bet you will be onto your next innovation or discovery.
Remember this blog is about letting everyone get to know you and provides you with a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate your expertise and personality. People will be motivated to buy from you because they ‘know you’ and understand what you do. If no one knows what you do, why or how passionate you are – what’s the point?
At the end of the day
Many organisations are learning how to find their voices and tell their stories, blogging is one way to do this. Embrace it.