I had several interesting responses to yesterday’s post on corporate blogging, so I thought I’d come back and hit the topic again today. Most were along the lines of, “Sure, some bloggers within corporations have successful blogs, but that’s not really corporate blogging.” I disagree.
As someone who has worked in a corporate behemoth for many years, I know that a “corporation” is nothing more than a big pile of stock. And a stock certificate can’t write a blog post. Blogs can come only from the people inside the corporation.
So, sure, all examples of successful corporate blogs are from individuals (and sometimes teams) within corporations that have a particular, personal point of view. That’s exactly what corporate blogging is. No more and no less.
All blogs (at least all successful ones) have a personal point of view, whether they come from corporations or not. If we equate “corporate” blogging with some form of anesthetized PR communication resembling not much more than a press release that allows comments, then I think we’re missing the point.
Large corporations, probably more than any other kind of business, have a desperate need to connect with their customers. Letting their employees out of their Legal-PR imposed cages so they can interact with customers is their best hope of overcoming the risk-free, homogenized brand images that we equate with corporate “personalities.” Perhaps companies clinging to the vanilla brand image of years gone by, afraid to show the real people within their walls, are running the biggest risk of all. Customers are beginning to demand more and blogging is a cheap way to give customers what they want.
As a follow-up to Monday’s post on the Blog Council, I spoke with Andy Sernovitz of the Blog Council yesterday and he cleared up the controversy over accepting comments—I’ve updated my post.