Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire. These are my thoughts on products, public relations, and startups.

Should every company have a corporate blog?

In case you didn’t hear my panel at SXSW, let me reiterate: it depends! I was reading a blog post by the Freshleaf blog, which asks the question: “Should all companies have a corporate blog?“. Reminded me of the Q&A exchange I had with some participants at SXSW.

My response was that your social media strategy should revolve around specific marketing goals that you and your team have currently. It shouldn’t be a mandate  to start a corporate blog?! Having said that, I cannot advocate a much more effective marketing communications tool than a corporate blog under the appropriate conditions.

As my friend, Jeremiah, has mentioned many times – the corporate website is in it’s last throes, while a corporate blog (to me) presents an interesting alternative. And, that’s where the Freshleaf post outlines some of the reasons (please bear in mind, that they are a design agency helping design corporate websites for customers).

Here are some points I concur with:

1. Humanizing the corporation: Corporate blogs permit a human-human interaction, presenting a completely human side to business that corporate websites have NEVER been able to achieve.

2. Enabling conversations: Blogs also allow the blog post author (product manager, engineer, etc…) to chat directly with the users of the product in a public forum.

3. Current, up-to-date and easily refreshed data on the company: One wonders how long some corporate websites take to update. On the other hand, corporate blogs are as easy to update as writing an email!

4. Develop brand leadership: Have you ever thought of establishing your brand leadership in your industry space. Imagine writing blog posts on all the latest topics which are then easily indexable and searchable.

5. It’s just the tip of the iceberg: Having said all of the above, a corporate blog is but one of the many ways you can achieve the above. Complete social media immersion in a rapidly changing social ecosystem is essential for brands to survive in the customer mindset.

Does your company have a corporate blog? Why?

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Filed under: Best-of, Business Blogging

21 Responses

  1. To clarify, a corporate website is in it’s last throes in it’s current form. It’s about to soon evolve into something greater, where the focus is on customers and community –rather solely on products

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  2. Sonny Gill says:

    Great points, Mario. Biggest one that I draw from corporate blogging is the conversation. You’re able to connect with your readers at a more personal level and building that trust and relationship. As these relationships evolve, so does your brand awareness and loyalty…ultimately (hopefully) ending up with brand advocates.

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  3. Priyanka says:

    We at Mahindra & Mahindra have recently started a corporate blog, http://www.mahindrauniverse.com around 4 themes innovation, sustainability, globalization and customer centricity. Mainly we want to create a 2-way communication portal between our customers and us. Definitely corporate blogging seems to be a very interesting extension to a corporate website.

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  4. Mario Sundar says:

    @Jeremiah,

    Agreed. I believe companies are beginning to realize that the current model’s expiry date is up. Slowly but surely, they’ll have to start defining what the future is gonna be like and the focus will shift towards the community and the conversation as @Sonny reiterates.

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  5. Mario Sundar says:

    @Priyanka,

    Thanks for adding an interesting perspective on corporate blogging in India. Do continue visiting the blog and adding your $0.02.

    As you point out, corporate blogging is definitely an imperative extension to any corporate website.

    Like

  6. [...] globe, outside of the US. Two countries we constantly hear about these days are India and China. Yesterday’s discussion on the evolution of the corporate website yielded a few interesting comments, one from an Indian [...]

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  7. outsmarts says:

    Blogs are typically associated with outward facing communication but for companies that like to control every aspect of their public relations an open approach like this may not be appropriate for them yet. That doesn’t mean to say they shouldn’t use blog technology to communicate with partners or customers internally though.

    Nice post Mario – always something thought provoking in your work.

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  8. Mario Sundar says:

    @outsmarts,

    Agreed. But even if a company is not very open, I guess this gives them an opportunity to be far more frequent in the revelation, communication and conversation of products.

    Thanks for the comment. Hope to hear from you more often in the comments thread.

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  9. Freshleaf says:

    Hey, thanks for reading our blog. Another great thing about a blog: it gets the dialogue going on the subjects that interest you. I think outsmarts hits the nail on the head with the control factor: our clients aren’t always quite ready to loosen control on the message, even though handled right, a blog is a good way of putting out the message.

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  10. Mario Sundar says:

    @Freshleaf,

    Good to hear from you. It’s nice to see you’re participating in this conversation. And, yes, slowly but surely, I’m sure your clients will have to start engaging as well.

    Please continue participating in conversations on this blog and others out there.

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  11. [...] Should every company have a corporate blog? [...]

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  12. Zax Stevens says:

    My company is just now embracing the “blog” and the results are amazingly positive. Creating much more traffic and interest in our Hotels writen by real customers that stimulate prospective customers to either comment or visit the site.

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  13. Mario Sundar says:

    @Zax,
    Not sure which company you belong to, but am glad that you’ve embraced the blogosphere. The first step is always the hardest.

    Which chain of Hotels do you belong to?

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  14. [...] before they go too far starts with the phrase, “We should have a blog.” Mario Sundar points to some good things that corporate blogs can be used for, but the reality is that not every company [...]

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  15. Mario,
    I agree with the positive effect blogs can have. But what are the negative repurcussions to think of when introducing a corporate blog? what if all the nhappy customers get together and decide to attack the company thee? what about preventing spam/invalid blog entries on the blog and the effort needed to do that?

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  16. Neha says:

    Hey Mario,

    Your blog seems pretty comprehensive and has given me some food for thought.

    Let me be very honest I am new to the blog sphere and am looking to implement blogs in my company also. But before pitching it to management there are few queries in my mind that are still unaddressed.

    How can an IT Services company get benefited from blog implementation? Although what you mentioned are applicable for IT services company also yet I see them more realistic for a product or a B2C company than a services or B2B company? Do you have any stats that can support the relevance of Blogs in an IT services company?

    Can you or someone in community provide valuable inputs on this?

    Thanks
    Neha

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  17. [...] before they go too far starts with the phrase, “We should have a blog.” Mario Sundar points to some good things that corporate blogs can be used for, but the reality is that not every company [...]

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  18. Neha says:

    Well currently the main hurdles I see are the one already mentioned, although I have already started my in-house version release plan… may be you can collect your thoughts and throw some light on it later.

    However, are there any mid sized IT company that have started reaping the fruits from blog efforts, if you know any names. plz let me know

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  19. I think Bhushan Karle has a very good point about negative customer response, but then you could say that they should have better customer service so that there are as few unhappy customers as possible.

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