Corporate Blogging Still Lagging (Sort of)

15Feb06

BusinessWeek has an excellent piece today on corporate blogging and the various ways it is being utilized by companies, however few.

” … only 22 of the 500 largest U.S. companies operate public blogs from their executive suites. That amounts to a measly 4.4%. Has the blogging sensation passed corporations by?”

Certainly not. One thing that all of use who have a decent grasp on blogging need to constantly remind ourselves is that despite how important, powerful, and understood we might think it is, realistically is far from a mainstream concept. Most people don’t even know what a blog is … just ask your parents.

However, despite the corporate world’s slower than hoped for pickup of the medium, those who are using it are not only utilizing it for marketing and PR purposes, but as a means for communicating and collaborating internally.

“Why are blogs supplanting traditional corporate Intranets? They’re a snap to set up, and cheap to run. That’s why the blog universe — as counted by Technorati, the leading blog search engine — has tripled to 27 million in the last year. They dwarf the number of personal Web pages, which require more technical expertise.

What’s more, blogs are designed to change daily and — importantly — to receive comments from the public. This means that while traditional corporate Intranets are static, blogs generate conversation.”

And that means internal conversations, a great, cheap, and easy step forward — and wikis are increasingly adding to improved internal comms as well.

I think the main takeaway here is that understanding blogging as a tool is important to all facets of a company’s communication efforts–internally and externally–and, just as blogs are great engagement tools for constituencies outside of the company, they bring a great value internally. The role of PR comes in at the point of, first, being familiar with the medium and, second, educating and counseling clients on when utilizing blogging is appropriate and how to go about it, because it’s not always right for every client.

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