People don’t want to hear from your PR people: They want to hear from living, breathing you. Blogs let you humanize your company and discover exactly what your customers are thinking right now. Microsoft’s Robert Scoble, arguably the world’s best-known corporate blogger, says it’s time you joined the conversation.
Scoble’s passionate about the power of corporate blogs. He thinks Microsoft’s 1,500-plus bloggers have fundamentally changed the market’s perception of his company, and he’s probably right. He has plenty of potential benefits to discuss: obvious, and less obvious, such as blogging’s benefits for staff recruitment. And he has plenty of case studies, from big companies like IBM and McDonald’s, midsize companies like Stonyfield Farms, and even neighborhood restaurants trying to fend off the mega-chains.
But he’s candid about the challenges, too: negative comments, confidentiality issues, resource commitments, trouble demonstrating ROI, and so forth. (And, whatever else you do, make sure to read his guidance on avoiding trouble with the corporate mucky-mucks. More than a few folks have gotten fired for ignoring these rules.)
You don’t need to be familiar with blogs or blogging to read this book: Scoble and coauthor Shel Israel patiently explain all the basics, tell you how to get started, and point you to the resources and tools you’ll need. Then, if you buy in, they offer dozens of dos, don’ts, and pointers. (Stay away from phony "character" blogs. Demonstrate passion and authority. Post fast and often. Tell a story. Include comments.)
Don’t let your marketing firm tell you how to blog. Learn how here. Bill Camarda, from the March 2006 Read Only