Strategies and tools for corporate blogging.
John Cass. Elsevier/ Butterworth-Heinemann, 2007.
Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging is an informative and useful book that aims to give the reader the tools and strategies to develop expertise in how to build a successful corporate blog and to enable the reader to conduct effective corporate blogger relations. Because so many people are blogging, corporate communicators are rethinking their marketing strategies. Now that people participate in news gathering and news-making through blogs and other social media websites, Cass says, new models of sponsorship and advertising will have to be developed to follow people as they switch from traditional media to new social media websites.
He makes several important points along the way.
Blogging is about marketing. A lot of marketing is about understanding your customer’s needs and making sure that you build a product that satisfies those needs efficiently and profitably. So rather than blogging exclusively about products and services, the better strategy is to create a forum for discussing customer issues and concerns.
Blogging is not advertising. Corporate blogging is a way to cut through advertising overload, and to sustain one-on-one conversations with individuals. People read blogs because they are not about selling a product. Blogging is about listening, and involves customer service and product development.
An effective blogging campaign requires combining skills from the disciplines of public relations, journalism, online marketing, and search engine optimization. PR professionals have many of the skills and strategies needed in today’s new media world, but they still have much to learn from other professions if they are to succeed in blogging.
Cass offers many practical tips for beginners.
Develop a list of bloggers to read on a regular basis. Monitor your list of industry blogs and keep a list of keywords to find other websites, blogs, and stories that would interest your audience or that would give you the opportunity to comment. Understand that it’s important to act quickly when you see a story pop up where you can comment or write a post.
The book’s only major drawback is an apparent lack of professional editing. Cass is a knowledgeable guy, but a prose stylist he is not. And throughout, one finds errors in punctuation (that darned apostrophe) and spelling (e.g. the terms ‘captcha’ and “akismet,’ although fairly common, are misspelled).
Nevertheless, I would recommend this book, along with a couple others I’ve reviewed: Blogging for Business by Shel Holtz and Ted Demopoulous (Kaplan, 2006), and Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel (Wiley, 2006).