Blogs have now reached the corporate and government sectors. Companies like General Motors, Microsoft and Sun Microsystems have recognized the effects and importance of blogging and are now using them as a way to communicate with their customers and employees. Blogging, which started off as a forum for teenagers to express themselves, has now become very popular among businesses of all sizes.
Aids to Internal Communication
When a company creates and supports a blog in order to achieve its business objectives, it is referred to as Corporate Blogging. Corporate blogs are also used for internal communication. They promote the sharing of information of work-related matters. Since blogs can be easily updated, they are used as a part of newsletters or company Intranets. This helps employees to keep themselves informed on all the current happenings in the organization. Blogs also allow employees to display their expertise on a particular topic, thereby becoming a recognized industry or subject “expert”.
Communication with the Public
Blogs can also be effectively used to communicate with the public. This makes it an important part of external communication. Companies can communicate with clients, employees, the media, prospective employees or customers through blogging. Corporate organizations can even conduct their public relations activities through blogging by posting press releases and updates about new company products and services on the blog.
Building a relationship with customers is all about loyalty and transparency. Customers are inclined to associate with an organization that they think they know the best. This is where blogs come into the picture. Through blogging, an organization can build its relationship with its customers and promote their products at the same time.
Blogs can also be used as a method of employee recruitment. The organization can post a blog on available job openings and requirements, which will help in the recruitment process.
The Disadvantages of Blogging
Like everything else, blogging also has its disadvantages. You need to remember that blogging can lead to the sharing of information, which could be harmful for employees or the company in general. Blogging can lead to legal pitfalls as well. There are cases where a company has been held responsible for comments made by some employees that adversely affected the others. Blogging can be harmful too. Some employees may use blogs to write negatively about the company, leading to bad publicity.
Free or Paid Blogging?
It is important that you decide what kind of blog you want. There are free and paid services available. Free sites offer basic blogging tools, whereas paid sites offer better services and features. Free sites come with advertisements to cover the cost, while paid sites do not have any such interference from unwanted advertisements, which can be quite a nuisance. Paid sites are available at a fee of up to $15, whereas a domain registry will cost up to $35. In addition to all this, the software also has to be bought. Paid sites can be designed and customized according to the individual requirements of each particular company.
Blogging encourages communication and allows businesses to more easily reach their customers. If used properly, corporate blogging enhances customer loyalty, and in turn can make your business more successful.