Corporate blogging in Belgium

Philippe Borremans points out to a survey that Leads United, a Belgian PR agency (without a blog), performed on corporate blogging. It’s the result of 70 in-depth interviews with companies & government bodies.

The results aren’t looking good, yet that’s hardly a surprise. I’m also having some thoughts on how the whole corporate blogging idea is being approached. This is mainly because having a corporate blog sometimes is presented as the key element to be part of the conversation, and I just disagree. Just like I presented on the IAB Netcafé recently, there are many ways to be part of the conversation and having a corporate blog is just one of them.

Let’s take a closer look at the key results of this survey then:

“93% of PR/Communications managers surveyed knew about blogs but only 6% of the PR/Communications managers surveyed implemented corporate blogs”

I would obviously also have liked to see a higher percentage here, but referring to my earlier comment, if companies try to follow the conversation and react/comment on what relates to them I guess that’s already a very good start for many of them. I see it as a bigger concern that the percentage here will probably very low as well.

“Only 4% of the organizations surveyed have blogging policies in place”

Microsoft hasn’t, still we are with 4.500 bloggers in a 70.000 people company which ain’t too bad if you ask me. A blogging policy is not needed as I see it, common sense will get you a long way already.

“87% of the respondents mainly see corporate blogging as a potential external communications tool”

Last time I checked a corporate blog shouldn’t just be an external communications tool, at least not how most PR/Communications managers think of that… because it’ll just be another one-way conversation tool. Just because it’s using blog software, has posts in reverse order and accepts comments doesn’t mean you’re doing a better job trying to get into the conversation. A good example of that just got discussed over at MarketingProfs:DailyFix. The example discussed is the Marriott blog. It’s a step forward, no argue there, but since Bill Marriott never replies to any comments, thus only writes his posts doesn’t make him more interested in having more constructive conversations.

Overall, I guess what I wanted to say is that my biggest concern is not that so few companies have a corporate blog, I’m more concerned by the fact that so many are probably not even bothering to engage more with their consumers in general… something a corporate blog just can be one way to use.