New stats tell us there are around 15,000 corporate blogs, a number which has doubled in just the last six months. According to this research polling 750 corporates, around 80 per cent of corporate blogs are written by a PR, marketing or some other comms person, not the author of the blogs themselves.
So how come us PRs are taking over the corporate blogosphere? The same research says it's because spokespeople don't have time to get to understand blogging or write anything themselves. But judging by the state of some of these corporate blogs, us comms types are too often writing our clients' blogs as if they were a brochure or a magazine column. So...
How to start an authoritative, informative, engaging business blog:
1. Create an account on Bloglines. Run some searches on key words - like what the company you will be blogging about makes, your company name, buzzwords, etc. See which blogs come up and subscribe to them. Spend about a week reading them each day for 5 mins.
2. Start off your blog - having observed by now how your peers write, what they write about, and the style they write in. Put some links to their blogs on your own blog, and they'll see you exist pretty soon.
3. Now start to write on your blog. Use the basic rules of good PR in blogging: tell the truth, blog fast and often, use a human voice, don't lie or hide information, and try to be an authority on what you're writing about.
4. If you are then going to start advocating blogging amongst many staff members, you could get great online exposure, but get some guidelines in place. Here is how IBM blogs about hosted blogs on topics important to its business, employees who create blogs for internal consumption on the company intranet and workers who have the blessing to blog provided they follow guidelines.