While doing research for this project I came upon an older article from BtoB titled “Businesses Embrace Blogging” that discusses some of the challenges and hurdles faced by companies looking to start corporate blogs. In particular, one paragraph stood out:
BtoB recently interviewed key bloggers and social media experts at these companies to take the pulse of corporate blogging. The conversations reveal the following trends: the emergence of “chief blogger” as a corporate job title; the globalization and segmentation of corporate blogs; the emergence of accepted metrics for measuring the success of blogging efforts (see sidebar, page 48); and mixed feelings about CEO blogs.
This caught my attention because it came as a shock to me that companies would be in such a rush to jump on the blogging bandwagon, so to speak, that they would set up a corporate blog without any forethought as to the message, voice, style and audience of the blog. In particular, the practice of assigning a “chief blogger” once the blog had already been set up was shocking.
A “chief blogger” title shouldn’t exist after you’ve set up a blog, it should exist prior to the blog going live, after other essential elements have been discussed and a write (or writers) have been assigned to maintain the blog.
What was striking about the article, and about doing research for this project in general, is the amount of companies that seem to assume that they can set up a corporate blogs and the audience will simply rush to their digital doorstep.
A good example of Corporate Blogs Gone Wrong can be evidenced in an article from the Guardian called “<a href=”http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2005/aug/29/mondaymediasection.blogging”>My Dell Hell</a>” where a Dell PR executive told blogger and Houston Chronicle columnist Dwight Silverman that the company’s blog policy was, in Silverman’s words, “look, don’t touch”.
However, both of the articles are getting a bit long in the tooth (The Guardian is from 2005, and the BtoB from 2008) so it remains to be seen what we’ll discover throughout the course of our research whether corporate blogs have whipped themselves into shape or not.