Corporate Blogging Best Practices

Steve Rubel reports form the Word of Mouth Marketing conference on David Binkowski’s advice to corporate bloggers. According to Rubel, corporate bloggers should:

– maintain a consistent tone
– have strong and newsworthy content
– disclose intentions and sources
– post frequent updates
– deal with comments
– keep innovating

That’s a good start. Other points that I suggest prospective or new corporate bloggers should keep in mind:

  • Study the blogosphere to determine if it is right for your company. Don’t get in today if you aren’t ready or if you don’t see the benefits. But keep paying attention. Things are changing fast. More and more people are finding their voice in the blogosphere. Your customers, your target audience or your competitors are only one click of the Publish button away from having an impact on you.
  • Ensure that your blog has a clear, single purpose. Remember, blogs are a discussion of current events and current thinking. They differ in this from the traditional web, which represents an encyclodedia. Let your corporate website catalogue all of the information you want to present. Focus your blog on the things with which you are personal engaged.
  • Your blog should be part of a grassroots strategy. Don’t let it stand alone. Once you have engaged in a dialogue with your audience, you should leverage this interest in as many ways as you can to build a lasting relationship.
  • Establish and maintain a regular tempo of postings. That doesn’t mean that you must post every day. But maintain a minimum period of postings to establish and then meet your audience’s expectations.
  • Bloggers need: Passion and a Voice. A blogger must have something to say, a willingness to write it, and the perseverance to keep at it.
  • Blogs will be credible only if the voice is truly the voice of the author. Blogs are not corporate speeches. It’s fine to ask people to edit and comment on a draft posting before it is published. However, if the blogger is not really originating his/her own material, find another blogger.
  • Blogging does not need to start from the top. You can start with someone who has a point of view and expertise in an issue or area related to your organization or business (e.g. Customer service, your industry, product design).
  • Write in an informal, chatty style. Avoid “corporate speak.”
  • Make each blog posting short in order to increase the likelihood that people will read it.
  • Define who owns the blog. If it is a corporate blog, postings can be screened and approved by management. If it is a personal blog, provide some blogging guidelines regarding the boundaries of acceptability.
  • Keep corporate blogging guidelines to a minimum. Count on common sense.
  • Finally, learn by doing.
  • What do you think? Are there points I’ve missed? Have you found other useful guidelines for prospective and new corporate bloggers?

    • Excellent list. I believe that if a corporate blogger can’t commit to this list, then they really shouldn’t get into the blogosphere in the first place. I’m sure as blogs continue to become the PR fashion accessory of the moment, there will be many that get in without fully understanding the commitment required and the authenticity demanded.