Guns don’t kill, people do. The same goes with blogging

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Stephen Waddington reached out to a few people including Stephen Davies and myself to crowdsource some material for a corporate reputation conference he was speaking at in Manchester. He asked two questions:

Does corporate blogging work?

Which corporate bloggers do you rate?

My response was shipped back on a slide and here were the bullets:

  • Guns don’t kill, people do. The same goes with blogging
  • Blogs without individual bloggers don’t work
  • A good blog won’t save a bad organisation
  • A good organisation can do a bad blog through poor planning and practices

I know it reads like a bad haiku, so I put some notes with the slide:

Corporate blogging can work. The first thing to consider is what is a corporate blog? A corporation doesn’t blog, individual employees do, so if the corporation doesn’t recognise this truth the blog fails.

This relies on trust in the employee and clear guidelines to try and prevent situations like Vodafone’s ‘Beavergate’ debacle. A corporation which aggregates individual posts stands a good chance of success if other things in the business like company culture, customer-centred organisation etc. are a reality.

Great examples include Innocent Drinks and Hu Yoshida’s blog for Hitachi Data Systems.

The problem that some knowledge-economy businesses are facing is that the employee brand carries such gravitas that is acts as a spring board for a new business.

We have seen this over the past 18 months with the success of the Altimeter Group in the US at the expense of analyst house Forrester Research. George Colony, CEO of Forrester Research has recently lobbied the Mass. State governor in order to beef up anti-compete clauses.

In the case of the Altimeter Group corporate blogging has definitely had a positive effect.