Corporate Blogging — The Rules of EngagementPosted by Chris Garrett / October 29, 2008
Corporate blogging is no longer the new kid on the block: it has become a very relevant part of running any business. Corporate blogging is an important part of marketing, PR, sales, HR, and customer service. Surprisingly, blogs are still seen largely as the domain of Generation Y — an online forum to write about the latest game, hairstyle or why it’s reasonable to earn six figures immediately after graduating. But this is not the case. Blogging has become a cost-effective way to sell your business and keep customers happy.
There are many reasons for running a company blog, but an immediate increase in traffic is not one of them. A blog won’t actually make a lot of difference in the traffic coming to your site until you have a lot of interesting or relevant content: blogging is a long-term strategy.
You might write a corporate blog to educate or inform your customers and prospects or perhaps to appear more transparent. Transparency is useful for large, faceless companies, or companies like Microsoft who need to improve their corporate-bully image. Blogs are also a great way to collect feedback from customers and the market by enabling comments and interaction.
Blogging allows you to communicate with your clients and prospects without forcing spam down their inboxes. Search engines love lots of relevant content and it gives some stickiness to your site that you can’t gain from pure sales text.
You have to write with a genuine commitment to helping your readers. They know it’s just another sales tool and that you wouldn’t bother keeping a blog up-to-date if you didn’t have your own agenda, which is why the reader has to get something out of it too — information, answers, trust, or laughs.
Write in a professional yet familiar manner. Here are my few golden rules:
- Keep it short.
- Write in plain English – minimise the jargon, but don’t dumb your vocabulary down too much, or whatever.
- Keep the slang and swear**g to a dull roar.
- its not a txt mssge ☺
- One article = one point (see point 1).
Don’t worry too much about your writing skill. You will find a style soon enough. Just start writing about what you know and get some feedback from your colleagues.
Who should blog?
Owners or company directors will usually run small business blogs, but larger companies will usually find a few authors within the company to blog on the company’s behalf. These people must be raving fans of your business; otherwise the wrong message may be projected. A blog can either make or break a business.
Edit and proofread before the articles are published. Use a fresh pair of eyes of another team member. This not only minimises grammatical errors, but screens for copyright infringements, hidden agendas and potential slander. Imagine if your author had a falling out with their superior. Suddenly, the next ‘funny’ email you open features photos of the afore mentioned superior from last year’s Christmas party in a compromising position with a link back to your company blog. It could create the spike in traffic that you were after, for a short time at least.
Corporate Blogging Guidelines
As you probably noticed, we have 3 or 4 people who blog for KND. We monitor each other’s work and have a professional proofreader/editor who helps keep our writing succinct and well structured. If you ask us nicely, we may loan him to you.
We have some strict blogging guidelines to ensure a consistent message (inspired by a comment by Martin Roell on the Thomas Nelson Publishers blog):
KND Blogging Rules
- Write under your own name
- Write relevant, write often
- Keep company secrets
- Be familiar, yet professional
- Keep it clean
- Don’t advertise
- Respect copyrights
- Be nice to competitors
- When finished, halve it, twice
- Get it proofread
And lastly, tell everyone about it. No point creating a masterpiece if nobody knows it’s there.