Overview – Blogs
From the term ‘web log’, blogs are typically a form of an online journal written by a subject-matter expert (or someone with strong opinions on a subject). An archive of blog postings can provide valuable background information on a topic. If permitted by the blog owner, readers can also post comments on individual blog posts. Leader blogs are a means to make senior managers more accessible, to give employees a sense of the leader’s personality and to create a feeling of transparency.
Blog content can provide an insight into what the leader does, their perspectives on current issues and what’s going on at their level of the organisation. This tactic works best when leaders are willing to regularly write and maintain the blog personally. Internal blogs can also be written by other area experts to share best practice and ideas within specific business units.
This tactic is useful for:
✓ Building a leader’s profile.
✓ Sharing best practice.
✓ Understanding employees’ views and enabling them to ask questions share their ideas, thoughts and opinions.
✓ Communicating perspectives and follow-up information following company events and initiatives.
Things to consider:
⇒ Determine if blogs are appropriate to the organisation’s culture (democratic and open, rather than hierarchical and paternal).
⇒ Define business goals and communication needs that will be supported by a blog.
⇒ Identify who qualifies to have a blog. Executives only or any employee?
⇒ Decide if blog content needs to be moderated. If so, by whom?
⇒ Have a clear code of conduct just as you do with email and Internet use.
⇒ Encourage employee take-up of blogs by supporting their use and providing the resources to respond to blog comments.
⇒ Promote blogs via other communication tactics, e.g. a screensaver image of the CEO with a pen can advertise the latest post is available to read.
⇒ Remember more people ‘lurk’ than comment on blogs so don’t be discouraged by low comment levels.
Create a content schedule to ensure regular, relevant posts.
Set aside a regular time to write content.
Consider featuring interesting ‘guest bloggers’.
Monitor readership to detect the type of content that gets the most interest.
Use tagging and tag clouds to assist staff in finding related relevant posts.