Should you build a corporate blog?

A corporate blog can be an effective marketing device. While all blogs provide a venue for quick publishing and water cooler-type dialogue, there are two major kinds. Each provides very different benefits to your organization.

An external blog, which is accessible to the Internet, is a powerful public relations tool. Infused with corporate flavour yet more informal than a press release, the information published in this setting builds brand authority.

Many external blogs have taken the place of published newsletters companies historically would provide their regular and prospective customers. The blogs often provide information on company offerings and initiatives, give valuable advice, and reinforce the company’s identity.

An internal blog is available only on a company intranet to employees and, optionally, selected associates. Often this is a platform for thought leaders to share their vision. It can also be a forum for corporate evangelists or experts to talk about the business of your business.

There are also CEO blogs, which are available both internally and externally. These caught the wave of popularity coming out of the technology sector and are often vectored to that same audience. In areas outside the geek-set, PR groups struggle to quantify the benefit of a CEO Blog unless that person’s personality and knowledge in their field are largely identified with the company’s value.

The pitfalls of blogs are inherent to any kind of publishing. Despite the immediacy of it, the content should be vetted as carefully as it would be before being disseminated in any other setting. But used with caution, a blog can be a powerhouse for your company.