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Corporate Blogging: Should it be formal ?

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I have been browsing through a lot of corporate blogs lately, especially of technology companies. The reason for it is to quantify the effectiveness and mileage a blog gives to the company. First, I was planning to look only at Indian corporate bloggers, however, the number of Indian corporate bloggers are so less that I could not really gauge much and hence I looked at corporate blogging in general throughout the world.

I am still in process of understanding the effectiveness and mileage a corporate blog gives. However, I am constantly faced with one question in my mind

Should Corporate Blogging be formal ?

When I say formal, I mean, if the content published should abide by certain code of conduct. If the language be formal and stick to business ethics ?

Lets first look at “What is corporate blogging”. Some people may differ here, however for me, a corporate blog is one that is written by executives and senior managers who have some level of authority in the company. They are the ones who are known to their customers and they are in a position to take decisions.

Now, if these senior people are going to blog, how should the nature of this blog be ?

The Anatomy of Corporate Blogging.

I stumbled upon a blog of Mark White, a Business Blog coach. Some of his posts are quite impressive on corporate blogging and I learnt quite a bit from them.

However, as mentioned earlier, while reading one of his posts “Anatomy of a Corporate Blog: Layers and Building Blocks“, I could not help but think if corporate blogging should be so complex and “by the rule” !

He divides a corporate blog into 5 different layers, much like a multi layer architecture of a complex software program. Here is how he puts different layers,

Business Blogging Architecture

According to me blogging never has to be that complex and by the book. Infact, it beats the whole purpose of what blogging is all about.

Now, I do not put forth myself as a blogging expert, but one thing I can surely say is.

Blogging does not have to be that complex, even if it is a corporate blog !

Tell me why do you see the “to be” Presidents of United States rolling up their sleeves and mingling with general public during their election campaign. What they are doing is breaking the barriers of “aura” they have with posts and position they hold, thereby creating a bond with general public. Everyone seeing them in real or on TV, look at him as one of their own !

Similarly, a president or a CEO of a corporation needs to roll up his sleeves and show the other side of themselves, which is of a normal ground floor individual.

That will give mileage and effectiveness to a corporate blog more than anything else !

  1. kiran says

    very intresting and nice blog.i agree with you for corporate blog should be in formal.because,before recruiting the companies are seeing about his dress style like the dressing should be in fornal or not.i thought if the corporate company maintains their blogs in formal it shows it is a big company and it provides good weather for work.i like the division of corporate blog in five layers.

    vikram,
    http://trak.in/tags/business/2007/07/30/corporate-blogging-should-it-be-formal/

  2. Mohan Babu K says

    This is an interesting thread. I have been authoring “Managing Offshore IT,” in my avatar of a corporate blogger. I have also been reflecting on some of my learnings’ along the way.

    The key point here “does not have to be that complex, even if it is a corporate blog !” hits very closer home than any other aspect of corporate blogging.

    I’d love to see you expand on the topic

  3. Idetrorce says

    very interesting, but I don’t agree with you
    Idetrorce

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  5. trakin says

    Dyutita…Thanks for dropping by and taking efforts to mention your point of view. Mesmerized…you have echoed my thoughts.
    In addition to it and I have said this quite often on this blog “blogging will be as importance as email is today few years down the line”.
    Infact you may want to look at one of the articles on Techrepublic. http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/project-management/?p=139&tag=nl.e138
    This specifically for consultants, but it does apply to a lot of other people as well…Being in US, I am currently experiencing the power of blogging and in India we are just at the very start of this revolution…

  6. Dyutita says

    Its really true that in India corporate bloggs are very less but if we other way around how many people are using internet & how many of us know about blog properly (i m talking about professional students etc). Here in one article i read that blogging is a good PR tool, i agree but major problem if we see is when a individual search for something and got a link of any blog (by this way manily users know about any blog) and suppose he posted any comment on that how much sure u are that blogger will reply him because its a old post of around 1 month or something.
    as u have mentioned in article who will take care of this official blog: i believe that should be a group of employees esp. above entry level managers they will have to handle this deptt. and reply the comment regularly.

  7. Mesmerized says

    Nice point Dyutita !!

    About replying to the blog comment- most blogs usually do send an immediate notification to Blogger that he has received a comment. It is then on the blogger to reply to that message. Lets take Trak.in for example, he does an excellent job in engaging back with his commenter’s,m who in return again comment hence a conversation is born.

    While most people will usually always comment back – why? Because its sort of a form of appreciation. Some one took the time to read your post and not only that add value to it by commenting.

    While the blogging sphere is still in its nascent stage, the ratio of people reading a blog as compared to blogging themselves is huge. So even though they aren’t many blogs – they are surely read a whole lot.

  8. Apostolos says

    Nice…

  9. trakin says

    Thanks for your comments and views.

    I am not really sure if I understand what you disagree with. I guess my brain is not fully functional at the moment, early morning time :)

    Whilst doing so one must keep in mind what the purpose of a corporate blog should be. Which could wary from a Ceo blog, A pr/hr blog, internal/external . If the corporate blog is flooded by press releases it beats the purpose and the core of a corporate blog.

    And yes…there has to be a clear purpose why you should blog..I am not contradicting that here. It the way you style your blog, how you write, what language…does your blog come across as a personal communication vehicle or a professional mouthpiece.

    When individuals, who may be prospective clients or not, read the blog, do they come back? If they do, whether they come back because they want to read what the individual is writing or is it just another information source for them?
    Is the blog interactive or is it one way ?

    When I say “corporate blog is one that is written by executives and senior managers who have some level of authority in the company.”, I mean that they are the ones who are in a position to take action.
    Lets take examples…In a Software org of 2000 people, many people may have blogs, can a software engineer’s blog may be called as a corporate blog ?
    Lets say, if it is a tech support guys’ blog, it is different, because he does make a difference, to the company and to the users…and creates an image for his company based on how he interacts and takes action…That can be called a corporate blog as he makes a difference…

  10. Mesmerized says

    Brilliant post there, But i would disagree when you say “Lets first look at “What is corporate blogging”. Some people may differ here, however for me, a corporate blog is one that is written by executives and senior managers who have some level of authority in the company. They are the ones who are known to their customers and they are in a position to take decisions.”

    Well a Corporate Blog (According too me) is the most raw sense of communication and conversation a company can have with its audience.

    While i agree there should be fluid way of operating a corporate blog. Whilst doing so one must keep in mind what the purpose of a corporate blog should be. Which could wary from a Ceo blog, A pr/hr blog, internal/external . If the corporate blog is flooded by press releases it beats the purpose and the core of a corporate blog. Ultimately the audience which is being addressed should be kept in mind and as much as possible have a no barrier communication and conversation flow.

    The days of controlled communication are over.

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