'Embrace blogging' Harvard tells businesses

But do it properly… or not at all

Businesses need to embrace the benefits that blogging can deliver, according to Harvard Business School. Though in some circles blogging has gotten a bad rap the US business school says companies should get online and start spreading the word.

In a Harvard Management Communication Letter, the school said blogs enable the brave few “to connect with customers online and advance corporate communications and marketing goals” and added that a well-written blog can boost a company’s credibility. If you don’t want to hear from your customers and critics in a public environment, don’t blog.
In the case of crisis – far from being a PR disaster – a blog can enable companies “to shape the conversation about it”,

Among those already embracing the trend are Boeing, General Motors, Google, HP, IBM, Microsoft, Sun and Yahoo!.

However, the business school suggests companies bear in mind a number of key points such as ensuring readers can comment so the blog remains open and interactive and doesn’t appear a mouthpiece for the company. “Permit both positive and negative posts on your blog and reply to comments made on other blogs pertinent to your area of focus. Respond in a professional and businesslike way. If you don’t want to hear from your customers and critics in a public environment, don’t blog.”

It also urges companies not to allow their PR department anywhere near their blog and put the marketing-speak thesaurus back on the shelf. A blog which is “genuine, conversational and engaging” and which “eschews corporate-speak” is far more effective, it states.
And most importantly, the article tells companies to make a commitment to update the blog regularly once they have told the world they are doing a blog.

This is excellent food for thought when trying to consider whether or not you should be blogging,

My two cents,

CB

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