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This actually is a question I have thought about quite often, especially after having spoken with companies who do not use blogs as they fear that people could write something negative.

End of March we launched a blog at ZHW School of Management. Before we launched the blogs I had very interesting discussions with some of my colleagues, most of them having been very critical about my idea to launch a blog. They came up with lots of stories about companies having had bad comments on their blogs, people writing all their anger in blogs, etc. and they kind of tried to convince me not to launch this blog (were they scared about seeing bad comments about themselves?). To be perfectly honest I had some doubts, especially after all those negative feedback, but we still did it and guess what happened?

Not one negative comment about lecturers or courses, but more and more students and lecturers being interested in using this new media and posting their experiences: study trips, humour, funny stories happening at school as well as interesting articles from Alumni sharing their experience about their life back in business. I don’t say that we never will get any negative comments on the blog it probably will happen, but I am quite surprised and happy about how the blog has evolved and how suddenly people at school have discovered that they have a voice and there are other people out there listening to them.

There are not a lot of comments to a post though, but the amount of readers increases by the day. Last month we had about 200 readers a day, which is not a huge audience but still 1/6 of all our students are reading the blog. Not to bad for a beginning.

So why do people fear blogs? There indeed are some bad cases about bloggers spreading negative word of mouth via blogs, but anyway, people speak with each other and spread the word. If a company is using technology correctly and is willing to adopt its authoritarian style of communication, if it is willing to listen to its customers and get involved in discussion it can build up trust and a virtual relationship with its customers. And if there are some bad blogposts floating around they can respond to them within no time and can get their view out into the market.

Any experiences or thoughts on that?

In relation to the comments on the post “Are bloggs such a powerful tool for companies” I’d like to share this interesting link to a “wiki”, where you can find some good example of corporate blogs:

http://www.eu.socialtext.net/bizblogs/index.cgi

Christine

This was one of the questions we discussed yesterday evening after a seminar about corporate blogging.
People of the Association of Marketing Switzerland (GfM) have listened to the speech of Marcel Bernet (owner and CEO of the PR agency called “Marcel Bernet”) and Jürg Stuker (CEO of the web applications agency called “namics”).

One of the most critical point we have discussed was the reach of blogging. As we all know, a company that uses blogs for communication has to spend a lot of time for writing interesting posts regularly. Now the point which was raised several times was if it is worth the time an employee or even the CEO is spending for writing blogs, not knowing with whom and how many people he is speaking. Is he only speaking with a small group of customers of potential customers? Is he speaking with its competitors? Is he speaking with people who are interested in the topic discussed but not in the company or its products? Or is he speaking with some bored people who have nothing else to do as reading blogs and posting comments?

I don’t know. I still believe there is some great potential in the use of blogs but a company has to do it right and have to understand that blogs are more than just another new communication tool; companies need to understand the social rules of the blog in order to effectively approach customers.

Christine

Below you can find the blogs of the two gentlemen mentioned in this blog.
http://www.bernetblog.ch/
http://blog.namics.com

My studies will be focussing on business/corporate blogs in terms of marketing. According to Scobel and Israel (Scobel and Isreal, Naked Conversations, 2006) blogging does not well integrate into a marketing master plan and is not just an additional marketing tool. They argue that blogging changes marketing into something more conversational.
Does it and what makes a blog successful?

Various authors have suggested the following success factors for blogs:
1. a successful blog is passionate and shows authority
2. a successful blog has frequent posts
3. a company running a successful blog does listen to its audience and engage in other blogs too
4. a company that is successful in blogging spends a lot of time doing so
5. posts have to be interesting and catch the audiences attention
6. in order a blog is successful a company needs to speak the truth and conversations need to be real
7. a good blog should build trust, interest, awareness and enthusiasm
Do you share those opinions? Anything to add?

May 2020
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