There will be barriers in a traditional business.
It’s not that the business leaders don’t want a blog to succeed. It’s just that with new strategies, like a blogging strategy, traditional business leaders are skeptical or they misunderstand how the strategy will work. Both situations can lead to the wrong expectations and this is where everyone gets into trouble.
The blogging strategy needs to be laid out from the beginning with the right expectations. The leaders within the business only care about profit and rightfully so. The strategy for the blog needs to be defined in these terms. Even if the strategy will yield profit in 2 to 3 years (common occurrence), the business leaders will still be on board in most cases. It’s up to you to set the proper expectations so the blog has a chance to succeed.
Yet even if you get the leaders on your side there will still be barriers and struggles.
Overcoming Blogging Barriers
The Harvard Business Review had a short excerpt from one of their upcoming studies. The study focused on company change in the corporate world and I think a few of the points relate well to implementing a blogging strategy at your company.
Rather than tinker with structure and incentives, organizations should look at the inner workings of the company and pull more effective levers, such as decision rights, information flow, and motivators.
It’s important to understand what motivates individuals at your company.
Motivation is what drives people to make decisions. It’s people’s motivations that make them averse to a company blogging initiative.
With a company, you will probably feel barriers from a variety of people when you submit the blogging strategy. Some people will be afraid of the change. People seem to naturally be afraid of change especially professional. Change means learning new things. There is a fear associated with learning new things. People often have the personal questions:
Can I do this?
What if I can’t learn how to do this?
Will I be fired?
There are other folks that simply won’t believe in the new strategy. These people will wonder why the business is trying something new when other business models are generating profit.
Why should the business change now when everything is working so well?
Why should there be focus on something else that is unproven?
Who does this guy think he is?
These are a few of the barriers you’ll see when implementing a blogging strategy.
The way to win these folks over is to use their personal motivation. Understand what makes these people averse to the idea of blogging.
For the person that is threatened by blogging, show them how they could possibly contribute to the blog. Figure out what the individual likes to do and see if there is a way to incorporate that into the blog. Maybe this person hates writing, but they love taking photographs. See if you can use some of their photographs in blog posts. It’s a great way for them to show their value to the leaders in the business and further their career with your new blogging strategy.
For the skeptic, focus on results. These people are smart and they care about profit. Find examples of blogs that have generated profit for businesses. You can also be honest with them. Your company has likely gone through a few changes in the past. At each step there was probably a well though out strategy that was implemented, but there was also likely some uncertainty. Be honest with the skeptic and tell them you have carefully calculated the risk and reward of spending time on blogging, but you also understand that it could fail.
Honesty works in most cases.
Understanding what motivates people will allow you to better communicate how a blog fits into the corporate structure. It’s better to have more people on your side when it comes to a new strategy.
You’ll have a better chance of succeeding with the project when you understand how others can help and support you.
This is something leaders do within every company.