Corporate blogging – a PR perspective

While attending a seminar on Advanced Media and Public Relation (by Dr. Tom Watson at IUG), I had the opportunity to read about a study on blogs in corporations.
The « Makovsky 2006 State of Corporate Blogging Survey » is very interesting in many ways. Nearly all (96%) the Fortune 1000 senior executives were polled about blogs and their answer are summarized in the quote below :

The survey revealed that only a very small number of top executives are convinced to “a great extent” that corporate blogging is growing in credibility either as a communications medium (5%), brand-building technique (3%) or a sales or lead generation tool (less than 1%). In contrast, most executives are somewhat or not at all convinced of blogs’ growing credibility in these areas, (62%, 74% and 70% respectively). Moreover, nearly half of senior executives polled do not have corporate policies pertaining to blogging, although 77% believe that their organizations should have such policies. Clearly, we are seeing a snapshot of the beginning of a corporate activity and a medium which is set to grow rapidly and which will become increasingly important to corporations around the world. Companies that do not recognize this trend and take action to capitalize on it will miss out on valuable opportunities. They will also put themselves at risk of being blindsided by unfavorable publicity.

Then, another study is also relevant when writing about corporate blogs and that is « Weblogs and Employee Communication » (Wright and Hinson, 2006). This report explains how employee blogging has become a dynamic new medium to communicate with internal and external audience and has changed many aspects of employee communication. Below are a few quotes from this study (check out « why employees blog » and « Are employees’ blogs good or bad? ») :

The potential impact of blogs on public relations and corporate communications is phenomenal. […] The rise of the blogosphere has the potential to empower employees in ways not unlike the rise of labor unions in the late 19th and 20th centuries. […] Although employees who blog are writing both positive and negative things about their organizations, it appears that the positive outweighs the negative.

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