Since I’m primarily focusing on blogging for business purposes, let’s talk about some different types of business blogs. To define these types of blogs, I’ll again be using my trusty Blogging for Business book by Shel Holtz and Ted Demopoulos. (If you can’t tell already, it’s a great resource and I love it!)
- Executive / CEO blogs: Among the most common of company blogs, executive blogs are authored by the CEO of a company or someone in senior-level management. Posts usually address issues facing the company from the executive’s perspective. These blogs can be extremely effective marketing communications tools because readers feel that they’re speaking directly with company decision makers. This feeling is only enhanced by the ability to comment. Executive blogs also provide a perception of transparency, which is becoming increasingly valuable as the general public continues to distrust corporations.
- Company Blogs: Company blogs are similar to executive blogs, except the author can be any company representative writing on behalf of the organization. The purpose of these is primarily to keep stakeholders updated on the happenings of a company, much like a Web site could do. Using a blog format, however, keeps things timely, interesting and conversational. Company blogs are more engaging than a typical company Web site and a personal approach can go a long way with customers.
- Product Blogs:Product blogs are usually written by members of the product team and ofter readers consistent updates on one specific product and things related to that product. An effective product blog can build greater loyalty for a product and the company that produces it. Product blogs can discuss new versions of a product, promotions, upgraded software, new features, accessories and related tools for a product, answer customer questions and provide tips and “how to”s.
- Customer Service Blogs:Customer service blogs are both proactive and reactive public relations toold since they aim to keep customers informed about problems and how the company plans to remedy them. If done well, customers who trust the customer service blog will go there for information when something goes wrong. This gives the company a chance to reach the customer first, explain what’s happening and dispel any rumors that may be circulating.
- Advocacy/Nonprofit Blogs: Many corporations have a foundation attached or take a stand on political issues. Advocacy blogs keeps readers updated on actions taken and the company’s government relations. Many nonprofit blogs also include what readers can do to support their efforts.
- Employee Blogs:These are the trickiest of company blogs. Employee blogs are written by any employee who’d like to have a blog and are not typically regulated or preapproved by public relations, company lawyers or people or upper-management. Although often risky, employee blogs can provide a refreshing voice to customers who don’t want to hear corporate speak or people who’ve been drinking too much of the corporation’s Kool Aid. Employee blogs also give customers a chance to see that company employees really care and love what they do.
- Internal Blogs:Internal blogs are written by a company’s corporate relations staff or upper-level management and intended to be read by company employees. Internal blogs can be an effective way to keep employees on the same page and enhance company messaging. They can also be positive for employee morale by including information an intern newsletter might have such as birthdays, promotions, weddings, baby announcements and employee recognition. Although a newsletter could suffice here, blogs are much more conversational and interactive.
- Political Blogs: Despite the fact that political blogs are not necessarily company blogs, I’m including them anyway because the upcoming presidential election makes them very relevant. Political blogs often contain strong opinions about work to influence readers. They also keep readers informed about what’s going on in the political arena.
Now that we have all of that out of the way, we’ll look at real examples of each type in future posts. I’m sure you can’t wait.