The rapid rise of web logs (blogs) over the past year has not gone unnoticed by companies, and especially by people involved in Marketing and PR. These people are now involved in developing their own blogs to talk up/add value to their own products and services and also using other people's blogs to promote or discuss them. However, not all companies have actually worked out how to use blogs effectively yet. Here are some articles that offer good advice and guidance for would-be business/PR bloggers:
In Post(er) Boy, Robert Scoble a blogger who works at Microsoft offers companies some tips on blogging that can help them succeed online.
James Horton has written a good paper - Marketing And Blogs: What Works - which contains this useful tip:
Successful marketing through blogs creates or enters a community of interest where readers are involved in the use and lifestyle of a product or service. Blogging sparks interactive communications using low-cost self-publishing and syndication of content. It is not a way to make money or shill products. Blogwriters who believe they can sell musings by subscription have been disappointed, and companies that have used blogs to sell overtly have so-far failed and generated protest.
It's A Blog World After All writes about the interest that corporate America is now paying to blogs.
Nick Wreden offers companies his 10 Rules for Corporate Blogs and Wikis in MarketingProfs.com. I quite like his observation in Rule 1:
Brands are about trust, and authenticity is the foundation of trust. Blogs should be written as if close friends were sharing observations over a beer. It’s easy to tell when PR or legal vampires have sucked the life out of content.
Here are two companies that use blogs to share their knowledge on given subjects but which do not directly promote their business activities:
Looking at both blogs you can see that they have managed to develop community (as seen by comments posted on their sites) and it can be seen that the blogs are acting as good PR vehicles for their companies. The logic being that if people buy into what you are saying, they are only 1 or 2 steps from buying into your company's products or services. From the blog community they are also developing their own knowledge and networks, through communications with like-minded people. Indeed, it looks like Jennifer will shortly be working on a project with John Moore who she only got to know through his weblog, The Our House Weblog:
'Jennifer has asked me to support her on an international branding project - and we only know each other through trading our thoughts and ideas in blogs.'
Many more articles and white papers can be found on RSS Winterfest.