Archive for January, 2007

What it takes to write a corporate blog

Sunday, January 28th, 2007

Writing in your corporate blog is a commitment. It takes perseverance. It often takes imagination, as you cast about for suitable material. It takes creative energy to convert the events of ordinary business days into material that will interest your readers. It takes being interested yourself in order to make your blog interesting. Of course, it helps if you’re a high-profile, high-ranking executive at your company; your position alone attracts readers (and often lots of comments from readers who want to be associated in some small way with your power and prestige).

It’s nice to see that a midwest university engaged in a research project to understand what makes corporate blogs effective. One of the most important ways to get your blog known is to read and comment on other blogs in the same topic areas. This adds another element of time to the process of publishing a corporate blog. Very important to consider the time required when choosing who will write your blog. More on this later.

The pscyhology of why business blogs work

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

You may be wondering about how a business blog can engage your prospects, vendors and customers. The reasons are many.

Let’s start with the fact that people who want to do business or are doing business with you enjoy knowing about you–about your company and its attitudes and its goals. If you provide this kind of transparency in your corporate blog–or even in your personal executive blog–you’re inviting them to feel part of an “in group,” a psychologically powerful way of building loyalty.

Next you’re inviting them to genuinely feel a part of the group by participating via comments. Research cited in this Forbes.com story, “Online, Helping Strangers Is Huge” backs this idea up. We all want to feel that we have something to contribute. By inviting comments you validate your visitors’ sense of importance. Even if they never do comment, the fact that they have the option is pscyhologically valuable.

Another point is that you are promising people something. You’re promising to regularly create something for them that’s worth reading. And on that score, you should make sure that’s true each time–or don’t write anything at all. You’d be amazed how many people keep coming back to a blog that has provided value for them–even long after the author may have stopped making regular contributions.

In short, you are creating a personally fulfilling relationship with your readers that doesn’t require them to do anything but enjoy. They don’t have to speak up. They don’t have to be accountable for anything. They can just show up when it’s convenient and keep up with you and your company. Yes, it takes a real commitment from you. But the payback can be significant in terms of creating trust and loyalty.