The Financial Times has written a thoughtful piece about corporate blogging – when the FT starts writing about blogging, you just know it is time to take it seriously!
In their piece, the FT is mainly giving another list of what not to do’s (along with illustrative examples) but they also say
The advent of blogging is starting to make companies think about how they will be expected to engage their customers and employees in two-way conversations in real time – whether they like it or not.
No one is sure how blogging will change the corporate communications business, but there is a view that companies should get involved – and now.
This is a valuable vindication of my harping on at business people to blog for some time now! And they hit on the heart of the matter for many businesses when they say
blogging is transforming the way companies communicate and, for a customer, direct contact with an employee is so much more preferable than dealing with a huge faceless corporate behemoth. Robert Scoble, a Microsoft marketing executive specifically hired to blog about the company, has emerged as one of the blogosphere’s most popular citizens because he pulls no punches when it comes to his employer.
He argues that Microsoft’s tolerance of employee blogs – some of which are quite critical of the company – has helped shift perceptions of the software giant from strongly negative to surprisingly positive.
And if blogging can help Microsoft soften its image, imagine what it could do for any other company.
And finally, the most telling comment of all in the article –
the corporate blogosphere remains uncharted territory as executives, public relations staff and legal experts are just beginning to work out how they might harness the potential of web logs without putting themselves or their companies at risk
This is especially true in Ireland where blogs and particularly business blogs are still virtually non-existent – the lack of personal blogs is partly explained by the high price of broadband here but the lack of business blogs appears to be mainly due to fear and inertia.
The Financial Times article referred to above has gone subscription only since I wrote this article – if anyone could send me the full text of the article, I would be obliged!