Corporate Blogs are Losing

January 13, 2011By

This morning on The Future Buzz Adam Singer published a post on corporate blogs. The topic was brought up by another blogger Mark Schaefer. In a post on his own blog Mark compiled his list of the ten best corporate blogs in the world. Adam’s point was that, while good, the corporate blogs still lag well behind their independent counterparts.

Here is a snippet from Adam’s post:

On the whole, independent blogs are not just a little, they are lightyears ahead of corporate blogs. From design, creative content, unique voice, agility, empowered community and devotion of resources. I think the resources issue is a big one: think about how much many of the brands Mark listed devote to their owned media vs. paid or placed – it’s absurdly off proportion which shows how little these brands really embrace the shift. Conversely those fully embracing an owned strategy spend a tiny fraction of funds on paid or placed because they don’t need to.

This is my favorite paragraph in the entire post, but it’s worth five minutes of your time to read the entire article.

I commented on the post regarding the disconnect with large firms and their apparent resistence to digital strategies like blogging. Adam touched on it in the snippet when he discussed resources.

Let’s look a bit more into why companies are disregarding blogging…perhaps at their peril.

Why Corporate Blogs Aren’t Blogging

I’ve spent time in the marketing world and the independent blogging world. I agree with Adam that resources are a big reason why – at least in my experience – companies aren’t blogging. Not only is money being spent on paid placements rather than a blogging strategy, but people aren’t being utilized to their full potential in most cases.

Resources

It’s hard for me to say in most cases that it would be better for people to spend their time on digital strategies like blogging as opposed to managing a paid placement strategy. It’s not true in all cases, but the current proportions in most companies are skewed so heavily toward the paid side that there has to be some under utilized talent that could be building content, communities, and improving the brand.

Red Tape

Something I run into sometimes in the corporate blogging world is red tape. There are instances where a blogger runs the line of fair use for the content on their blog. With corporate blogging there is also the issue of commercial intent and using things like photos.

Some companies see restrictions and simply avoid blogging all together. It scares them a bit from the legal side.

Also in this vein is the fear from companies regarding the personality behind the blog. Some companies – not all – fear what will happen if they empower their employees to develop a voice for a blog and a community. In order to win in the digital environmental the companies with the empowering nature toward their employees will win. The key is developing strong strategy and direction – that has to come from the top of the organization and not just as instructions, but through actions from the top players in the company.

Blogging is Tough

Finally I think it’s important to point out that blogging is tough.

A common situation in all blogs – independent and corporate – is for early excitement leading to some good posts and post frequency only to be leveled off by the grind of what it takes to blog on a regular basis. Most blogs lose because they’re left dormant before the owners can really figure out the identity of the blog.

The grind of research, writing, commenting, and sharing can wear anybody down. It takes a full commitment from people and companies.

Discussion

Have you been involved with companies that blog?

Share your experiences, strategies, tricks, and tips.