Why Corporates Aren’t Blogging?

Why Corporates Aren’t Blogging?

This post was inspired by Laura Spencer’s The Art of Building Relationship on business blogging as well as the questions I’ve received since I’ve started to blog. Primarily, I was asked if it’s a worthwhile effort to keep a corporate blog as it takes lots of commitment and time to blog consistently. My answer is ‘yes’. Starting this blog has indeed been very rewarding. I had shared with my “Money and You” community recently that this Versa Creations’ blog has created a lot of value for me in many different ways:

  1. more business opportunities to discuss, propose and quote on marketing and advertising projects
  2. more business deals sealed
  3. develop relationship-marketing by sharing my thoughts and experience
  4. build trust and credibility
  5. create corporate branding and give a human voice to the company, and in turn, building a personal branding for myself
  6. provide a differentiator
  7. gain higher visibility online
  8. receive invitations to write for trade publications like Affliate KB and Marketing.
  9. make more friends and develop contacts with people all over the world. (This is how I got to know Laura, a professional copywriter from the USA)
  10. make residual income through text-link advertising

Still, most businesses and corporate companies don’t keep a corporate blog. Yet corporate blogs can be a hit with their customers. Some quick examples are Google’s blog and General Motors’ blog. But here in Singapore, keeping a corporate blog to connect with target audiences at a more informal level is lukewarm. If small-medium business owners and big corporate CEO can take 30 minutes of their time to share with their shareholders, partners, staff, business associates, and end consumers their thoughts on the business; they will eventually be able to engage people at a more personal level. With that, trust and credibility can be escalated to a whole new level. I just wonder how long it would take these high level executives to accept corporate blogging as part of their marketing, as well as communications, effort.

Alice Tan, CMO, Corporate Marketing and Strategic Management of MediaCorp shared her views on corporate blogging when asked by Marketing‘s editor, Debbie Cai, “Is MediaCorp interesting in starting a corporate blog?” Alice Tan’s personal opinion was:

I would need to ask the CEO if he is keen as the business is moving at such a fast pace. I’m not sure if he has the time to. Blogging is a personal thing. Some people like to do it, some people don’t. Can that be translated into a corporate behavior? Possibly, but I think the culture needs to be right. Is the culture, especially within Singapore-based companies, ready? We are by nature conservative and sometimes not very open to receiving criticism. This is my personal opinion. We need to get to the pace where we encourage openness but openness is such a big word that can be misunderstood. I’m not sure I’m totally for it.

Business is moving at such a fast pace and many products are reduced to becoming commodities. What makes the difference is the branding and the customer relationship management. If the top guns choose to stay behind the curtain to run an impersonal corporate by remote control instead of taking a personal stake or to add a personal touch, then they are missing a wonderful opportunity to reach out and touch. It is ironic that it’s precisely because businesses are moving so fast that a corporate blog with continuous, fresh updates provides more value to a savvy consumer when compared to a static website where content is not updated for long intervals.

What I found most disconcerting is her opinion that corporates might find it tough “receiving criticism”. One of my mentors taught me to be thankful and grateful for complaints and negative feedback. People who don’t complain will quietly bring their business elsewhere. The fact that he is spending time to share his gripe with me means he believe that I can rectify it and he is still willing to do business with me. This resonates with what Jims Collins said in his famous book Good to Great – which is to always tell the brutal truth with lots of compassion. But of course, truths that can be easily taken at a personal level can be so much more difficult to accept as a corporation.

The public and the media will make a lot of loud noises when there is a product/service scandal or crisis. However, the furore will die down once the CEO steps forward and makes a clear stand on the issue. This is the power of the personal touch. Many enlightened CEOs have started to experiment with the power of blogs and some have even leveraged and maximized the cascading effects of an online public outcry.

“Openness is such a big word that can be misunderstood”. Indeed, there is truth in it. However, if we focus on running a business with high integrity, we should build a level of confidence and two-way communications that can only be good for business. Being open means welcoming both positive and negative feedback with open arms and the willingness to answer all questions and charges. Yes, it will require a big heart and a whole lot of caution if we wish to embrace openness totally.

The internet superhighway is not going to slow down. In fact with technology, it is only going to speed up. What do you think would be the perception of your company if more and more businesses and corporates are blogging and you are left out of the 22nd century?

Source of Alice Tan’s interview with Marketing Magazine: Marketing Singapore, July 2007 issue

Recent Articles Published in Trade Magazines:

Sales Copy Too Good To be Truth at Affiliate KB, 11 June 2007
Will They Respect Us the Morning After – Marketing Magazine, Nov 2007

[tags]corporate blogging[/tags]

 

9 Replies to “Why Corporates Aren’t Blogging?”

  1. This is a good analysis of the reasons that companies should blog. I especially agree with your statement on the importance of being open and running a business with integrity.

  2. Well written post vivienne and the points raised are pertinent too! In my opinion having a blog helps in customer relations and in the business world relationship with your customers is so very important!

  3. Hi Laura
    Glad you like it and I appreciate your sharing at your own blog too.

    === ===

    Hi bokjae
    With products fast becoming commodities, sometimes, the differentiator is the human touch.

  4. Hi, Vivienne!
    I think this article has significance to what we perceived of some of the corporate companies, which we always wanted to know.

    Great budgets are allocated for branding. But little efforts to get to know the people through blogs goes a long way to connect with them.

    If the CEOs can’t a llot the time, at least the company should have an independent blog; where ideas which are otherwise marooned in heaps of hierarchy or criticism of policies (feedback) can be brought to attention.

    Good and informative post!
    Solomon

  5. Great post! I’m an e-marketing strategist, trying to assist small to medium sized businesses in implementing e-marketing and new media strategies to increase their traffic, sales, and overall awareness. One of the primary suggestions I make is a corporate blog. Very small companies can gain an advantage over their competition simply by implementing a corporate blog and delivering relevant content to consumers at no cost. The consumers will appreciate that information and perhaps do business with the company. The key is to successfully advertise the fact that you are a company and do offer services on the blog page so that the readers are reminded that they have a resource that can do professional work for them if their needs surpass the information entered in the blog.

  6. Thank you, Erica. Your proposal of advertising one’s services prominently at the blog is certainly good. If we believe in the values we can offer, we should not be bashful about telling the whole world. We would be doing a disservice if so.

    I look forward to seeing you more often here.

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