Blogging for Companies

Blogging is maturing into a communications tool for companies, you know when a solid company like General Electric start blogging it’s entering the mainstream.

Or is it?

I was at a conference recently when a woman, who had mentioned the low-key, humble nature of her company’s business culture went on to lament that she couldn’t get her senior executives to blog. They were too worried that there might be a negative reaction. Company Blogs
Innocent
Nuts about Southwest
Fast Lane – General Motors
Direct2Dell
GE Reports

The most successful individual bloggers have tons of personality, something to say, and chase controversy rather than fear it. Companies need to think the same way when setting up a blog.

Innocent and Southwest blogs both shine with personality, both are companies that have a certain amount of fun in their image and both have exploited that. Both use writers from around the company, rather than simply assigning a top exec. Both blogs are fun to read.

Dell sees blogging – including interacting with key blogs that follow the company – as an opportunity. They might have started a bit bumpily but their outreach to bloggers has earned them respect.

Fast Lane from General Motors shows great understanding of their target audience – they are talking to someone.

Of those listed above only GE Reports fails in my view. Lots of good video, but it reads as if it’s written by their corporate communications team, as an extension of their press function. But it’s early days yet, the blog is only two months old so perhaps it will develop.

Your executives might not be the best people to blog for your company
Your executives might not be the best people to blog for your company
If you want to start blogging at your company look for someone with personality, who has an interesting role, who has something to say.

This probably won’t be your executives whose days are filled with meetings, who may be bound by closeout regulations around the publications of figures, and whose most interesting tasks may be commercially sensitive.

Instead look into your sponsoring, marketing, product development or corporate responsibility teams.

Me and the Meme

I want to write about ideas relating change in business, new technology and communication; only ‘idea’ seems so big and sweeping and life changing. Ideas belong to the ivory towers, the philosophers, the educators. So I chose the word “meme” instead.

Meme is “the fundamental unit of information, analogous to the gene”, according to the online Urban Dictionary. So gene for how we are physical built up, and meme for our knowledge and cultural make-up. The dictionary also adds that memes can spread through a culture horizontally, by cultural acquisition. Ah! so we can share memes.

A third, more cynical definition from the same source “a pervasive thought or thought pattern that replicates itself via cultural means; a parasitic code, a virus of the mind especially contagious to children and the impressionable”, hinting that memes might have a life of their own, they might behave in a viral way to spread ideas. I like the subversive underscoring this gives, and it matches some of the new concepts in technology and business that I want to write about.

So welcome to Change Meme, a personal brainstorm on technology, communication and business.

Digital | Social | Innovation

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