Back in the nineteenth century, people used to stand on a soapbox on a street corner when they had something to say publicly. During those times, the topics were usually politics, religion, and … politics.
In 1999, I spearheaded the consulting division of one of the top interactive agencies in the US. We did things like write site reviews, perform SEO, develop white papers, speak at conferences, and tie business strategies to internet tactics (among other things). One thing we didn’t do? Blogging!
Why? Well blogging was solely known as personal diaries at the time and we could neither make money from it nor help our clients make money from it. Google was in diapers, everyone wanted a flash intro, money grew on trees, and blogging wasn’t taken seriously by anyone.
Fast forward a decade to 2009 and Google is on top of the world, people learned that a flash intro is the quickest way to lose a visitor, and the world economy has been in the toilet for years. Oh, and blogging has quietly become the most abundant form of communication on the internet.
As a result, a masterfully-executed corporate blog can send a new company into orbit or keep a mature company relevant. Even adding a basic, average-looking blog page can provide incredible value. There’s really no better way to update content regularly to a) build a following or b) provide SEO benefits. The blog can be used to establish authority on a subject matter, promote a product, announce news, or simply engage with customers.
We expect blogs from new media giants like Google, Yahoo!, and Facebook and even other tech hotshots like Adobe, Dell, and Digg. But look at the old school behemoths like General Motors, Boeing, and Delta getting into the game. We all know these blogs have bias but companies simply cannot ignore these as public relations platforms anymore.
Those of you who work for a company, let me ask you this: does your company have a blog? If not, your marketing department needs to wake up call. And if you’re brave enough, get on your soapbox!