06 May 2007

Blogging isn't a strategy

Stephen Turcotte over at Scout is openly wondering why more companies aren't blogging and he's discussing four reasons why they haven't yet:

1) CEO's are busy;
2) Companies don't get it;
3) Companies get it, but don't know how to do it; and
4) Companies are waiting for others to try it first.

Later in his post Turcotte readily acknowledges that
Blogging is not something that every company needs to be rush into. It’s certaily not for every company. There are many companies that should not blog. However, every company has a responsibility to its stakeholders to explore the possibilities and then make the call based on their own set of goals and circumstances.
The word he's missing? Strategy.

It's not enough to recognize "goals and circumstances." Businesses have to decide how they want to position themselves and their offering, and consider the needs of their audiences and stakeholders. Sometimes they'll use a blog. Many times, perhaps most times, they won't.

Fact is most corporate blogs currently lack street cred because the medium can't match the internal culture of the company. Often times it's more effective for a company to join the discussion others are having than to try to start one others won't want to join.

Again, with due respect to Turcotte, I think he underestimates the amount of thought most companies currently give to the medium. Most CEO's are always looking for new ways to talk to customers and others, and they're more than willing to take the time to do it right. Companies are also ready to outsource the things they realize they don't completely understand - now more than ever. And while companies are often more than willing to learn from their competitors' mistakes, they're not as willing to let others take the lead.

Sure, more companies will blog, and soon. But many won't. And they'll be smart not to.

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