Corporate Blogging Survey 2005

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April 19, 2006

Answers To Bentley College Questions From Yesterday

Met with a Bentley College marketing graduate class yesterday to chat about corporate blogging. Lots of great questions from the students in the presentation, but also on the original post about the corporate blogging event, here is my follow up to the posted questions on this blog from several students:

Q: How can you effectively fight back against negative publicity posted in a blog about your company/product/service?

A: If you have a negative post on your blog and its using inappropriate or un-rational language you always have the option of deleting a comment. However, if you receive a rational comment that constructively criticizes your company/product/service on your blog, I'd advise against deleting the post. Rather respond to the post, state your position and the facts as you see them. Not only may you win over your detractor but also you will definitely get across your point of view and position to your blog's audience.

Q: What are the methods a company can use to gain the consumer's interest in reading and communicating with your company sponsored blog?

A: Writing good relevant posts for your audience will generate traffic over time, however, blogging is not just about writing, it's also about having a dialogue with your audience and other bloggers. That's why it's important to monitor your community's ongoing conversations and get involved with that dialogue.

Q: Is it ethical for a company to anonymously sponsor a blog to gain consumer insight?

A: I'd say no, it is not ethical to anonymously sponsor a blog, if you are advertising your products and services, the FTC requires that you notify an audience of the relationship between the publisher and the advertiser.

Q: Since both individuals and businesses are communicating ever-more-increasingly through means of internet options, do you feel that blogging is not only expected but essential in an organizational framework of integrated marketing communication?

A: Blogging is not for every company. Drug companies are a good example of the type of company that has particular issues with starting blogging. The regulations drug companies have to follow on marketing and trials means such companies should move carefully.

That's why I think a company should think carefully about its goals and strategy before jumping into blogging. Once you have determined your goals, conduct an assessment of your community on the blogosphere to determine the viability of starting a corporate blog. To be successful your company may have to address issues your company executives are uncomfortable handling, that's why you will need to conduct an assessment to determine the critical issues of the day, and if your company really wants to address them head-on in order to be successful within your community's blogosphere.

Q: What do you think is missing from the blogging experience and how could it be improved?

A: Here I focused on one particular issue within the active PR blogosphere, the ability to track comments on other blogs when someone has posted a comment on another blog. Currently there are few solutions for tracking when a blogger responds to your comment on their post. Some solutions have appeared, CoComment is one example, but we still have not dealt with the issue enough to solve this problem. I think we need some better solutions for tracking conversations simultaneously from another blog.

Q: What do you see in terms of the future of blogging?

A: With 4.6% of the fortune 500 blogging, and an estimate of the total number of employers at 0.73% I think the future of blogging is bright. The web is all about interactivity, and blogging allows a company to have a better dialogue with their customers, not only do I foresee more blogging, but I think you will see more blogging elements incorporated within the existing design of corporate websites.

Q: As SEO is becoming popular, pretty soon everyone will be implementing it, how can a company ensure that it is always on top of the list when a search is done?

A: Companies can never guarantee that their website will achieve top rankings in search engines, but there are some steps a company can take to beat their competition. Develop a lot of relevant content that includes the keywords their audience uses to find them. Have other websites with similar relevant content link back to their website, and make sure their website is accessible from search engine spiders.

Posted by johncass at April 19, 2006 5:25 PM

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