Here are my answers’ to John Cass’ Corporate Blogging Survey.
- Why do you blog for your company?
I have been doing A Penny For… for about a year and I like blogging. I pitched a project to Jack (Covert) at 800CEOREAD about starting a blog about business books. He liked the idea, so we went and did it.
- What goals did you set for the blog?
Our first goal was to generate traffic for 800CEOREAD. We wanted to have 1000 a day reading the site. In three months, we are pretty close to meeting that goal. Our second goal was to become the best single source for information about business books. We do that through a combination of aggregated content and original material. Again, I think we are close to reaching that goal. Our third goal was to provide a PR medium for authors. We write reviews, invite authors to host the blog, run excerpts, etc. We do alot of that now and have more planned for the future. Our fourth goal is to sell more books.
That is a long-term goal.
- How do you think your blog fits into your company’s communications strategy?
We think it builds both sides of our business. On one side, we build our brand as business book experts with readers. Readers of our blog are spending 2 to 7 minutes with our brand every day. That is pretty compelling. On the other side, we build relationships with authors.
- Tell me about the publishing mechanics of your blog. How often do you publish? How do you decide what to publish? Any special publishing techniques?
We publish on working days and put up between 2 and 10 posts a day. Our content is based on what we see in business media, what we see people reading (from their blogs), and what new books come across our desks.
- Who writes the blog? Who contributes to the blog on a regular basis?
- Have you achieved your original communications goals?
Not yet. I think we are 30% to 50% of the way there.
- Were there any any unexpected communications or learning consequences as a result of publishing your blog?
I feel a little more pressure on the 800CEOREAD blog versus on A Penny For… I think it is really important to maintain a steady stream of new content on the corporate blog. Keeping it fresh and interesting can be a challenge. I don’t think personal blogs have the same pressure. It is much more “write when you want to”.
- How have you built better relationships with customers?
It is still early, but we think so. We know we have added new customers because of it.
- Macromedia, Microsoft and other companies are encouraging more of their employees to blog. How do all of these different voices together affect the direction of a company?
I don’t think they do. Blogging allows you to see more of the goings-on, but blogging doesn’t in itself change the strategy of the company. Maybe others can provide proof the other way.