The terms blog and blogging have become part of the new economy dictionary and are an extremely cheap and efficient way of disseminating information through the web. A blog is best described as an online diary that readers can also post their thoughts. Many subject experts and academics have created open blogs (free access) that are read by thousands of readers and futurists are predicting that these blogs will emerge as the new mega magazines.
Which leads to the question about why companies are slow to create corporate blogs in order to promote their organizational goals and ideals. The reason for this lax attitude is that corporate blogs can be misinterpreted for techies and the employment of full-time blog administrators as too costly.
Before creating a corporate blog, determine some guidelines. Here are some tips:
Clear Organisational Message
Before starting a corporate blog, you have to be very clear about the organizational message and direction. The reason is that your blog will be read by the public who may also be potential customers who have different global perceptions. You do not want your blog to convey negative perceptions of your organizational values.
Determine Success Targets
The setting up of a corporate blog is not just an opportunity for people to ventilate or post their comments online. There must be clear success targets. Feasible short term targets are the generation of new sales leads and increase in customer database. In contrast, a medium term target can be the creation of new alliances.
Promote Your Alliance
Your corporate blog can be used to highlight your current alliances and give your customers a better understanding about your global reach. You can invite representatives of these organizations to either be guest bloggers or have a separate blog within your main corporate blog. With enough online exposure, your corporate blog can also evolve into a dynamic networking online community.
Great Feedback Channel
Invite your customers to post their comments in the corporate blog and get your blog administrator to act on the feedback as soon as possible. This will give the image that your organization is very serious about all feedback and you can also rectify the problem before it escalates. The more advanced blogs can also provide immediate sms to blog administrators once a feedback has been posted too.
Value-add to Your Print Newsletter
A corporate blog can value-add to your current monthly print newsletter. One way is that some online postings can provide article-ideas for future newsletter issues. Blog visitors can also request for print newsletters to be posted to their homes.
Test Out New Products
Your organizational engineers and sales team can use the corporate blog to test out new products and ideas. This is an effective and cheap solution as your blog readers should already have a good idea about how these ideas should co-exist with your other products.
Ensure that your corporate blog has security measures that prevents spamming to your blog readers. This will ensure that spamming will not create a definite negative image about your company. Your blog administrator should also ensure that there is no flaming and that all potential debates should not be a battle of personalities.
Not Infringe Intellectual Property
Some blog posters may introduce other websites which may have beta versions of new products. To some blog readers, this may be purely educational but the implication for your organization is that it may infringe intellectual property
About the Author
This article is contributed by Colin Ong TS, Managing Director/Chief Trainer of MR=MC Consulting (http://www.mrmc.com.sg) and Founder of 12n Community (http://www.mrmc.com.sg/12n). He can also be contacted about corporate blogging at firstname.lastname@example.org