Corporate Blogging Strategy


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  • was hoped to be achieved by the corporate websites in the 1990s.The quickly became boring advertising billboardsDifficult to manage thousands of responsesConcerns remained that anonymous posts would effect company
  • This includes executives, and high-ranking executives.
  • Corporate Blogging Strategy

    1. 1. Corporate Blogging Strategy of the Fortune 500 companiesSang Lee, TaewonHwang and Hong-Hee Lee,Department of Management, University of Nebraska-Lincoln<br />Jessica Roberts | @thefullreport | COM 597 Summer 09 | 7.14.09<br />
    2. 2. The Research<br />How Fortune 500 Companies “maintain control” of blogs while also giving employees support to begin dialogue<br />ChoseBlogs from2005 Fortune 500 Firms<br /><ul><li>Blogs chosen from Corporate Blog List & CEO Blogs List as well as key word search on Google
    3. 3. 18 Companies -- 3.6% of firms who blog
    4. 4. 50 blogs were reviewed </li></li></ul><li>Why Blogs Emerged on the Scene<br />Corporate Websites failed to be open line of communication & transparency<br />Blogs emerged as another attempt at speaking with customers, promotion and thought leadership, to increase corporate transparency<br /><ul><li>“Net-geners”, a tech-savvy generation, flooded the workforce & were seen as assets to firms</li></li></ul><li>Why Blogs?<br />As websites showed their limitations, blogs emerged as another attempt at speaking with customers, promotion and thought leadership<br />“Net-geners”, a tech-savvy generation flooded the workforce & were seen as assets to firms<br />Also, “demanded independence” and sought “meaning and community in workplace<br />This merged with self-management theories<br />
    5. 5. The “Wild West” -- Benefits <br />As “citizens” of an organization, they could also be used as brand ambassadors<br />Celebrity bloggers emerged, as Robert Scoble<br />Online evangelists and critics<br />Can promote products, criticize and explain from an insider’s perspective <br />
    6. 6. The “Wild West” -- Downside <br />Disagreements about appropriate content<br />Employees crossed internal lines & were fired<br />Microsoft employee who discussed Apple G5<br />Delta employee wearing uniform in racy pictures<br />Google employee who blogged about low pay<br />
    7. 7. Control vs. Autonomy <br />Striking a balance between control and autonomy<br />“Shed light on how organizations are addressing the issues of control while supporting autonomy”<br />Developed five corporate blogging strategies in terms of control mechanisms and categorize corporate blogs launched by Fortune 500<br />Analyzed content of each blog<br />
    8. 8. Five Types Blogging Strategies<br />Employee Blog Maintained by one ‘rank-and-file’ employee <br />Executive C-suite author<br />Individual Select group from across company <br />Group Blog Experts in a field, technical focus<br />Promotion Buzz generator<br />Newsletter Company messages in a formal tone<br />
    9. 9. Trends that emerged<br /><ul><li>Bottom-up
    10. 10. Employee written, initially hosted on outside site, some on internal servers
    11. 11. Tend to focus on product development & customer service
    12. 12. Top-down</li></ul>Assign or allow a small number of employees to blog inside the company-owned domain<br />Provide a directory page that contains links to those bloggers on third-party sites; or<br />Have corporate blogs other than employee blogs<br />Tend to focus on thought leadership & promotional content<br />
    13. 13. Bottom-Up (Company Wide)<br />Bottom-up strategy formally allows employees to blog individually or on their site<br />Pattern and extent of use<br />Company has blog sites and several types of blogs<br />Purposes<br />Develop customer service, thought leadership<br />
    14. 14. Pros &Cons Bottom-up (Company Wide)<br />Pros<br />More effective & timely means of customer service and product development<br />Provides a ‘human side’ to large companies (ex. Robert Scoble)<br />Platform to create outside relationships<br />Cons<br />Can place blogger and company in a vulnerable situations (proprietary information, internal gossip)<br />
    15. 15. Top-Down I (Top Management)<br />Primary Blogger is C-suite executive<br />Company does not host employee blog but has several of its own internal blogs, which use conversational tone , but written by high-level executives<br />Uses blog for thought leadership and communication with stakeholders<br />
    16. 16. Pros & ConsTop-Down (Top Management)<br />Pros<br />Can bring a great deal of media attention<br />Speak directly to audience without media<br />Help squelch rumors directly and quickly<br />Cons<br />Executives must be cautious about content<br />Difficult to be as transparent as audience demands<br />Posts must be timely and follow online etiquette to be taken seriously <br />
    17. 17. Top-Down II (Individual) <br />Select department heads blog<br />Company hosts several internal blogs, each written by a single author<br />Thought leadership is primary goal<br />
    18. 18. Pros & ConsTop-Down II (Individual)<br />Pros<br />Thoughtful essays on the company and products<br />Cons<br />Content is not as relevant because it isn’t considered “insider” info – Not “in the trenches” or “from the top”<br />Fewer act as online evangelists<br />Dialogue is minimal<br />Low readership<br />
    19. 19. Top-Down III (Group)<br />Selected group of employees from all areas and levels<br />Company operates one type of blog, but numerous experts serve as authors<br />One area of expertise<br />Can provide quality content<br />
    20. 20. Pros & Cons Top-Down III (Group)<br />Pros<br />Content is seen as valuable because it comes from the company’s most innovative opinion leaders<br />Reduces risks associated with personal blogs<br />
    21. 21. Top-Down IV (Promotional)<br />Primary blogger isn’t known and lacks original, human voice<br />Company operates one type of blog<br />Complaint that there no authentic voice because purpose is only promotion or customer feedback,<br />
    22. 22. Pros & ConsTop-DownIV (Promotional)<br />Pros<br />When done well, can create an original community around a new product<br />Nike focused “Art of Speed” took a new approach and showcased short films on the theme of speed<br />Cons<br />Typically, content is lacking <br />Blogs aren’t always actively maintained <br />
    23. 23. Current Corporate Blogging Practices<br />Top-Down is more popular form of blogging<br />High levels of control over corporate blogs<br />The risk of employee blogs as advocates out-weights the benefits<br />Have created guidelines for outside blogs<br />“If your blog is self-hosted, use your best judgment and be sure to make it clear that the views and opinions expressed are yours alone and don ‘t represent the official views of IBM (IBM’s Employee Blogging Guidelines)<br />Creation of intranet to keep comments internal<br />Rely on other bloggers and community watchers<br />
    24. 24. Conclusions<br />No matter who is blogging, a human voice sharing authentic, useful content is required to engage an audience<br />