Why have corporate blogs become so popular of late? There are two reasons. First, it’s a fast follower phenomenon. Your executives don’t want to be embarrassed because their peers are doing it and they’re not. Second, blogging is a good move from a brand and PR perspective. Today’s customers want your brand to be authentic. They want you to acknowledge the warts that they know are there. They want a real face and a voice to a faceless corporation. They want to talk back. Not just in the online support groups, but in dialog with powerful execs.
The corporate blogging “movement” – by which we mean the compulsion for every company to have one or more blogs – is also part of another bigger societal change. Our professional and personal lives have blurred. While we might want to resurrect that barrier, it’s too late now. Most of us have opened up at least parts of our personal lives online. And, low and behold, our customers like to know that we’re real people.
This hit home to me when I found many of my business clients using Twitter. What are they tweeting about? It’s a mix of business and personal stuff. Usually people are careful to only talk about things that might conceivably interest their friends, colleagues, and other followers.
But tweeting is below the radar (for most corporate execs). Blogging is definitely on the radar screen. When you first start blogging, you’ll be concerned. Your competitors and your disgruntled customers are watching what you say. They are ready to pounce. It can be intimidating. But loyal and thoughtful customers and industry-watchers and subject matter experts also want to have their say. They will trust and respect you more if you are open with them and willing to respond to their comments. Don’t hesitate to add personal stuff. Remember that blogs are windows into your soul, not just your company. The more soulful the company, the more it’s respected.