When someone first thinks of corporate blogs an image of large organizations pushing their good and services springs to mind. Counter to this initial perception, this has not been the case. The web and blogging / social media specifically, shift the balance of power – supporting enthusiasts from within and outside of corporations. Beyond this shift, the quality and depth of information generated by this community is outstanding.
Why is this?
Quality Knowledge Outside the Corporate Firewall
Recently I was dealing with one of the world’s largest consulting organizations to resolve an issue they had with a particular product. When reviewing possible avenues for resolution it struck me that the consulting group turned to blogs and other public information to seek a resolution, well before even considering vendor support. The community is rich with answers and tools like blogs and some vertical specific communities (stackoverflow.com) offer organic knowledge bases that supply information well beyond what any corporation could generate on their own.
5 Surprisingly Good Benefits of Corporate Blogs
- Quality – If an individual from a corporation is going to participate in blogging activity around products or services that they work with, creating and maintaining a high quality public reputation is paramount. Every post must be one that the individual is proud and confident of – sharing tips and advice to help people in the greater community gain value from their knowledge.
- Feedback Loop – Unlike a press release, or product documentation, blogging is a two way street. Not only can someone suggest best practices and share information, but the community can also critique and comment on their materials. This provides a feedback loop that was perhaps not previously available for the public.
- Speed – Unlike product releases, blogging can proceed at an as-needed pace. This allows blogs to address issues in a timely manner and covey highly relevant information in a particular context that is perhaps time sensitive.
- Expertise – Generally people blogging from within an organization have had a good deal of experience with a particular product or service at a level that is not otherwise available. This enables them to share wisdoms that are not commonly available and help to steer people around issues or pains that they experienced, being the first to get hands on experience in particular areas.
- Innovation – As the authors are perhaps the first and most experience people around certain aspects of corporate products on services, they also have had a chance to innovate on top of and around those offerings. Often times these individuals can supply interesting solutions for business problems that were not necessarily envisioned by the team that originally developed them.
Some people may still propose that not all corporations are going to be able to provide the five benefits above and are more focused around shameless self promotion of products and services. If that is the case, that corporation is most likely not producing something of high value. For an organization with solid products or services, an honest online community enables growth and success of their business and most importantly, their customers businesses.