One of the big points we emphasize to clients who are considering beginning or even up and running with a corporate blog publishing program, it’s that such a program allow them to own their messaging. Running these sorts of programs is something Voce excels at, having put together quite a few that include not just convincing corporate teams of their value but also having our Connect Platforms web development team design and build the blog with our Connect Client Services group helping to manage the editorial side of things.
Those who come to Voce for help along these lines won’t be surprised by a report from eMarketer that corporate blogging continues to grow as marketing tool. According to a study there, 39 percent of companies of any size will have a corporate blogging platform in place next year.
Also interesting and of note is that more journalists are using corporate blogs and social networks as tools for their research into a company or industry.
A point that comes up pretty often when discussing blog programs is that it allows the company running to make their own news cycles. There are still big stories where journalists are pitched, briefed and such but a blog becomes an outlet for 1) The smaller – but no less important – stories that are generated on a regular basis and 2) A more personal conversation on topics related to the business with the customers.
The statistic in the second chart that sticks out to me is that while 34 percent of journalists will turn to a corporate blog, 32 percent will look at “general blogs,” likely those run by some third-party individual about an industry in general. So, statistically speaking, the odds are just as good a journalist will turn to an official corporate outlet as to one that has an outside opinion. That gap shouldn’t be that close.
It can be a concern that a corporate blog is seen by a journalist to be a threat to their beat, which is why a blog needs to be part of the overall communications plan, with some stories going to each outlet depending on what the goals for each one are. And they need to be positioned as not infringing on that journalist’s territory when it’s pitched to them – that’s right pitch the blog – so they can stay tuned to it and turn to it when doing research or simply for use as something to keep the company top-of-mind, which can have press pay-offs down the road.
It’s not enough to say “We need to start a blog” and it never really was. There was a time when doing something jut to do it was good enough, but that depended on a lot of audience good will and looking past the fact that you just did something halfway. If anything, I think the fact that only 34% of these companies have a corporate blog this year is indicative of the fact that producing a blog is a time-intensive process that requires buy-in from a number of departments and a lot of forethought.
If it was easy everyone would be doing it. But it can be done and, as I’ve said to a lot of people, once a groove is found it gets more natural, with a corporate voice being found and an audience reacting and engaging.