Like a Tour de France peleton chasing down a breakaway, the mainstream media has turned its eye to corporate blogging with a spate of new articles. They all mention the obligatory posterchild of corporate blogs done right, General Motor’s FastLane Blog. But they also dig deeper and surface some of the other excellent blogs out there (many running on Six Apart’s Movable Type software.)
US News & World Report runs down a laundry list:
Jonathan Schwartz, COO of Sun Microsystem
Randy Baseler, VP of Marketing of Boeing Commercial
Carole Brown, chair of the Chicago Transit Board
Richard Edelman, President and CEO of public-relations firm Edelman
Paul Otellini, President and CEO of Intel (internal blog)
Rich Marcello, SVP and General Manager of HP
Alan Meckler, Chairman and CEO of Jupitermedia
The Financial Times covers the 10,000 foot view, mentioning the GM & Boeing blogs but also pointing out the perils of not having a blog to respond to criticisms as in the oft-referenced case of Krytonite. After failing to respond in a timely way to the Bic pen hack that was amplified in the blogosphere they saw sales of their locks fall off a cliff and wipe out nearly half of their annual sales in just 10 days.
InformationWeek has a piece written by Bob Lutz who writes the FastLane Blog with some sage advice:
If you filter the negatives out, you don’t have a true dialogue, so how can you hope to change anybody’s mind about your products or your business? And changing minds is priority one at GM. The blog is a great opportunity to tell the public directly about the cars and trucks we have on the market and the ones we’re bringing to market soon. It’s one of the few chances we have to get the word out without running it through the media filter. Advertising is another avenue, of course, but it has much lower credibility than the blog, where we’re engaging in a real conversation with readers. We’ve also used the blog to address
specific media articles that we considered unfair, unbalanced, or uninformed.
To me, the blog is a way for GM to be culturally relevant. It allows us to be on the leading edge of new technology while getting our strong views out there about our cars and trucks. So far, response has been outstanding, with more than 5,000 visits and 13,000 page views a day. To any senior executive on the fence about starting a corporate blog, I have a word of advice: Jump.