Corporate communication’s newest avatar- The Blog

BY Deepti Bharthur| IN Opinion | 31/07/2008
Corporations are turning to blogging in a bid to connect with their publics and move away from the traditional secrecy that surrounds their operations.
DEEPTI BHARTHUR takes a closer look

 

Blog Buzz

Deepti Bharthur

Big businesses have always revelled in cultivating an air of aura around their workings and have perfected the art of tight-lipped ness. However in an era of open source and free access, classified is an outdated term and it is no longer prudent to behave like the secret service. Embracing the new tide, corporations are turning to blogging in a bid to connect better with their publics and move away from the traditional secrecy that surrounds their operations.

When corporate communication meets independent media, the results are quite interesting. According to market research, it was estimated that by the end of 2006 around 70 % of the large companies would have weblogs.More than 5% of the Fortune 500 companies blog externally. Today, books are avilable on corporate blogging and coaching for writing business blogs are provided by websites giving advice on break-up of content and format.

The corporate blog as is the accorded terminology is an online weblog to further organzational goals. It can be internal, for employees or external for the general public. External blogs are written by company staff, execs and even CEOs in where they share work experiences, new ideas and general anecdotes. These are published as posts on the company website.

Of course it is simplistic to assume that corporate blogging is a modicum of truth or free opinion. What it is is personal, informal and up to date, giving the reader a feeling of getting an insider view. Information which was hitherto considered privelaged is now shared in posts for anyone with an internet connection to read. New ideas, product designs and company activities are the main topics of blogging.  It takes little guessing to know that all of it is a brilliantly conceived PR mechanism , but for once, you don’t seem to mind and frankly, the casual  nature of blogging enabled communication works more of a charm than the glossiest of press releases.

So which are the corporate blogs you should be reading. The top 15 corporate blogs ranked by Technocrati, an online blog search engine as of May 2008 puts the original cool kid of the corporate world, Google on the top at No 1. The Offcial Google Blog- Insights from Googlers into our products, technology and the Google culture has posts from Executives, Engineers, and Web designers posting on the blog. There are also dedicated series of posts on topics like online security. Apart from the official Google Blog, there are a number of other links to blogs by Google interests and also personal blogs by Google employees. The Google blog can be read at the following link.  http://googleblog.blogspot.com/

Google is followed by Adobe, Flickr and Face Book. Other companies like Dell, General Motors, Delta and Boeing are on the list too. The complete list of most searched corporate blogs can be found at http://mariosundar.wordpress.com/2008/05/05/top-15-corporate-blogs-ranked-may-2008/

Another place to look for corporate blogs is on the website of the bloggers choice awards. A blog voting site that is currently taking in nominations and votes for the best blogs in various categories, the number of pages of  nominations  for the best corporate blog is running upto a whopping 41. Readers will be able to find corporate blogs from record labels, phone companies, real estate companies and anything else that mght strike their fancy. The blogs are listed on http://www.bloggerschoiceawards.com/categories/3 .

If you are interested in knowing what some of the most powerful people in the world think, you might be interested in reading CEO blogs. Personal and official blogs of CEOs such as Adobe Head Honcho, Kevin Lynch at http://www.klynch.com/ or Jonathan Schwartz, President and CEO of Sun Microsystems at http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/ are among some of the popular CEO blogs.

 

The scene in India is relatively low with a few companies like Infosys (www.infosysblogs.com/) and Tata (http://blog.tatainteractive.com/) having official blogs. It would be interesting to see how and whether corporate bloggng manages to catch on with the likes of Anil Ambani or Kishore Biyani. It is a definite way of reaching across to all the people who don’t read the pink papers.
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