One of the first questions we get from clients interested in starting a corporate blog is:
“Who is going to write it?”
Good question. Blogs are like baby birds – constantly hungry. But rather than worms, it is necessary to feed them content. As anyone who has ever been responsible for a corporate blog will tell you – keeping the content new and exciting can be a challenging endeavor.
The first step in creating a corporate blog is to decide what kind of blog to publish. Racepoint has identified seven types of corporate blogs to consider. Deciding on what kind of blog to publish depends on many factors, including:
- The corporate culture of the company
- The primary goal of blogging
- Lead generation
- Reputation enhancement
- Customer communication
- The time and monetary budgets
- Who will be in charge of writing the blog
Here are the seven types of blog to consider and examples of each.
CEO/Senior Executive Blog
Nutshell: A blog written by the top dog is extremely effective in communicating strategy and overall corporate philosophy. It also can attract media and analyst attention. However, as we noted above, blogging is time consuming and not many CEOs and senior executives have the time to devote to blogging.
Example: Jonathan Schwartz, CEO and president of Sun Microsystems, has been an active blogger for many years. His blog is called Jonathan’s Blog. Schwartz uses his blog as a direct communication to his constituency groups to great effect.
Corporate Voice Blogs
Nutshell: This blog is written by several people in an organization in the voice of the corporation – so there are no individual bylines or personalities. There aren’t too many of these blogs in existence as they often lack the personality, point of view and strong voice necessary to sustain a viable audience.
Example: An excellent corporate blog is maintained by Marathon Technologies (full disclosure: they are a Racepoint client). Marathon uses their blog to showcase issues, share news and announcements, and point readers to ongoing trends.
Company Group Blogs
Nutshell: A corporation has a series of blogs by different executives, consultants and employees on different topics. This approach is very effective for companies that provide a wide-range of products and services. The company selects experts in each area and empowers them to blog about it.
Example: Consulting firm Accenture has a strong group of individual bloggers writing on various topics – from high performance business to convergence insights.
Nutshell: There are two types of worker blogs – those run by individual employees of a corporation or groups of employees by a corporations. Many companies don’t like this approach as the average employee doesn’t technically speak for the company – so official communications can be confused with information found on the worker blog.
Example: Southwest Airlines has a successful worker blog because it doesn’t touch on corporate communications – but more on the lives and jobs of the employees who doing the blogging.
Nutshell: Advocacy blogs are used more by organizations and non-profits than by corporations. These blogs are focused on advocating for a specific issue – like handgun control or tax relief. They can be controversial, but often draw a lot of media attention.
Example: The Democratic Party has a blog called “Kicking Ass” which advocates for the positions of the Democratic Party – to get effect.
Nutshell: A promotional blog is just that – a blog designed to promote an event or a product. These blogs generally have a limited lifespan – running a few months to serve as a marketing and publicity tool for the event or product.
Example: The Media Bistro event in New York City next week has been using a blog as a way to attract attention and participants.
An advice blog is one that a corporation uses to dispense ideas, news, and advice about issues where it feels it has expertise. It has little focus on the corporation and is used as a service to customers – and to build leadership around a certain market segment.
Example: The company Stacks and Stacks runs a successful advice blog called “Clutter Control Freak Blog,” which offers up ideas about organizing living spaces – from homes to offices (its also an excellent example of a group blog).