At Work, In the News, Social Networking

Company Blogging

I’ve been reading in the Website Professionals community on Mixx a lot (and I mean a LOT) lately about blogging tips. In fact, when looking at the RSS feed, one might be forgiven for thinking that the only topic of interest to web professionals was blogs and SEO. However one topic caught my eye because it was of particular relevance to my work: Three Tips for Company Blogging.

Matt Cutts is a software engineer for Google, but his blog is unaffiliated with Google in any way: it’s a personal blog. His latest article discusses his top three rules for writing for a company blog. You can read the article in full yourself, but the three rules are:

  • Don’t make hard promises about the future
  • Don’t trash talk a competitor
  • Don’t post when you’re angry

I think these are pretty fair rules, but I would expand on that list a little:

  • Don’t make hard promises
  • Don’t trash talk a competitor
  • Don’t post when you’re angry
  • A blog is for opinions, not PR
  • Don’t take your readers for fools (be honest)

The first three are essentially the same, so I’ll start with the fourth point: A blog is for opinions, not PR.

A blog, whether it is within a business / enterprise context or a personal one is a medium for expressing opinions or knowledge. Whether you’re voicing your dismay over employment matters, notifying readers about new industry developments or providing technical tips on development (or cooking for example), the motive should be the same: to give your readers something to think about or look into. A very real risk that a company blog runs is becoming another voice for the marketing department – essentially turning the “blog” into a new advertising channel.

Mike’s article on this subject is excellent. It’s now 2½ years old and still completely relevant. I will be encouraging The Office to read and understand his points. Especially the point about comments. Customers must be allowed to comment on your articles, otherwise it’s not a blog, it’s a web page. This is especially true if your “blog” is actually just a PR forum. If you want to stop people from voicing their opinions about something you’ve publicised, move to China.

The last point on my list is don’t take your readers for fools. Honesty fosters trust and credibility. If a business makes a mistake, its executive might very well cringe at the idea of firstly admitting said mistake and then even entertaining the idea of publicising it. Don’t hide things from your customer base. It’s never a good look to censor your content based on political motives or perception fears. Treat your customers with integrity and openness. It’s an invaluable investment in goodwill.

What are your thoughts? Is there more to add to this list?

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for the link Phil, totally appreciate it.

    Good post, very relevant

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