Corporate Blogging….You Don’t Have to be a Robot

Ok let’s not include R2D2 or C3P0 or any of the other memorable Movie Robots – for the most part Robots can be pretty boring.

Following on from my conversation with Sarah from Carve Consulting the other week we briefly touched on what we think may happen next year as all these companies and people jump on the social media wave. It is great that new users are joining these online communities and sharing content with everyone. However one thing I think we will see happen is that companies in an attempt to make sure they have a blog or FB page may have people writing for them who aren’t natural writers or people writing for them who really aren’t passionate about their product/service.

Writing is based on emotion, it cannot be automated even though I am sure there are people who would disagree with this.

Blogging is not new it has been around for years, there are many great bloggers out there and information I imagine on any topic you are looking for. I have been blogging for about 2 years now and for me blogging is a way to express and share my thoughts and ideas with our readers and hopefully provide some information that helps someone (I believe in the sayings “what goes around comes around and also “do good things and good things will happen to you, do bad things and….”). When I write it is natural, I find my blog entries are not forced writing they just kind of flow similar to when you have a conversation when you catch up with someone for a coffee.

I think though what we will see (and there already are examples of this out there) is companies set up corporate blogs written by people who are not passionate about their topic or not 100% engaged in what they want to say. I have seen corporate blogs that do not hold my attention at all. The reason they don’t hold my attention is that they do not seem genuine – if you are going to write a corporate blog, don’t feel you have to put on your sales hat and sell your product/service to us – if we are interested we will get in touch with you. Corporate blog entries that have no heart or passion in the writing come off to me as something I can just read off the company website or marketing promotion – where is the value?? I want to read what a writer thinks and feels and get a perspective from a real person not from a robot being told to write something about “how great product X is” – unless the writer actually tried product X and loved it!

The other thing that I am noticing more lately is people who are taking previously written content and claiming it as their own. As more people start blogging and writing about topics there is naturally going to be some overlap of content which is understandable however isn’t there some sort of unwritten bloggers code about stealing content. Again it comes down to value to the reader, what value does it do to post content that is already available on the internet (unless you are trying to claim credit for something you did not do – again this comes back to karma). If you want to use someone else’s content ask them, more often than not they will say yes and make sure to give credit back to the original post – give credit where credit is due.

Here is a great example of how cutting and pasting someone else’s content can backfire. Thomas Shaw found a great example of this the other day, here is his Twitter post below letting the guys from know where their blog post originally came from. (notice the #fail hashtag at the end).

@ThomasShaw: @hippo_com_au guys you have copied the the article from here #fail11:31 AM Dec 15th from TweetDeck in reply to hippo_com_au

I am sure corporate bloggers have policies and guidelines they must work within, but it doesn’t mean your blog posts can’t be original or funny or honest, etc…. If you are going to write, write about the things that you think and believe – your readers will be much more engaged with you and much more appreciative to you for sharing your thoughts.

One thought on “Corporate Blogging….You Don’t Have to be a Robot

  1. Well put David, good advice for those embarking on corporate blogging and some good reminders for those who have been writing online for a while.

    I think one of the biggest challenges for most companies dipping their toe in the social media ocean in 2010 will be (and to date, this certainly seems to be the case) choosing someone to take up this role.

    Many organisations just won’t have someone with the time, desire or right skill mix of social media savvy, writing expertise, organisational and strategic insight or understanding of their customer needs.

    There’s a temptation for those organisations to provide a quick fix and outsource this function which makes it really difficult to work in a medium where authenticity and transparency are a must.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s