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Corporate blogging primer

db_logoNewton, Mass.-based IMN, best known for its e-newsletter offerings, has published a worthwhile primer on corporate blogging. Download Blogs.pdf

IMN Chief Executive Officer Kathleen Goodwin provides eight helpful tips for companies that want to hop aboard the blogwagon.

Taking the First Steps
So how does a company begin weblogging? A few simple steps are all it takes.
1. Start with a short, but explicit plan for what you want to accomplish with your weblog(s). Better customer relationships (measured by repeat sales)? A more collaborative marketing effort (measured by faster development time)? Thought leadership (measured by increased demand for commentary and publicity)? Efficient recruiting (measured by faster candidate pool for lower posting/advertising costs)?

2. Identify the right publisher(s). Your top salesperson. The head of R&D. It could be anyone who can exact business value from an online community. Just make sure he or she is articulate and committed to the idea. Look for extroverts.

3. Find a weblog template that can be branded with your company’s logo. Weblog applications for corporate deployment are showing up in do-it-yourself kits that can be up and running in as little as half an hour.

4. Provide each internal weblog publisher with a set of weblogging standards. These include confidentiality policies, product disclosure guidelines and basic dos and don’ts (i.e. – don’t refer to customers by name unless they want you to. Do update the thread on a daily basis.)

5. Whether you implement weblogs across a discipline (as in the packaged goods example we gave) or as a trial balloon, find a way to track their content and topics. This information can further pollinate sales and marketing initiatives, help the company prioritize subject matter and guide future weblog themes.

6. Use the weblog as a way to give your key people voice and power. It is a vote of confidence in them to ask them to publish. It will go a long way to demonstrating the company believes in them and their thinking.

7. Periodically “check-in”. If participation in a weblog grows dramatically, find out why and learn from it. If participation drops dramatically, find out why and learn from it.

8. Allow the weblog to have a distinct voice and use it to strengthen the brand. One of its key advantages is the quick, constant exchange of bits of information that may not be substantial enough to belong in a newsletter. In doing so, the bond with clients is strengthened and new voices are heard.

That said, Goodwin commits a common yet painful PR gaffe: she makes a quantifiable prediction. "Once a company has embraced the value of self-publishing, more and more uses for weblogs will become obvious. Five years from now, Corporate America will have completely normalized their use into virtually every aspect of daily business delivery." Journalists love it when people make predictions because, well, they hardly ever pan out. We're crossing our fingers, Kathleen. //Billy McCormac

May 28, 2004 in Posts in English | Permalink


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» More on corporate blogging guidelines.. from PR Opinions
Further to the post last week on Corporate Blogging Guidelines , Billy McCormac has unearthed some additional guidance on setting up a corporate blog provided by IMN Inc. [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 29, 2005 11:07:47 AM