Corporate Blogs: More Reward Than Risk

With the rise of technology in the past several decades, businesses and universities have been faced with a new challenge: distinguishing themselves in an age of rapid globalization. With an increased consumer market comes an increased competition for business.  Therefore, a blog is a valuable resource for distinguishing a business or university against the competition because it can make the represented agency accessible and human.

 

Regardless of their physical location, any one with internet access can read a blog, no matter where the blogger posts from, or lives.  When the blog represents a particular business or university, these corporations suddenly become more accessible to a larger audience, as “Google ranks blogs higher in its search results than static pages[.]“ Due to their dynamic nature, “[A] blog can increase a company’s visibility and its brand recognition.  Through the blog posts, a company can also connect with its customers and suppliers to share information about products and offerings, generating leads for future business” (Nordmeyer).

 

More than just a method for increasing revenue, blogs are a way for multinational corporations to facilitate the dissemination of information to a wider audience without fear of language barriers or cost constraints.  Many companies “[H]ave expanded their corporate blogs to other locations and made them available in other languages” (Strother, Zohra, and Millsap).  Previously restricted by and/or faced with the expenses of physically printing numerous translations of singular content, the virtual nature of blogs allows a company to share their knowledge, research, and observations in a potentially limitless array of languages at a much lower cost.

 

But the value of corporate blogs does not exist solely in their accessibility.  They are also a simple and effective system of humanizing an otherwise inhumane entity, of giving a voice to the company they represent, and of encouraging “[V]aluable feedback from their customers” (Strother, Zohra, and Millsap).

 

Take, for example, two of the Kodak blogs discussed in the Strother, Zohra, and Millsap article.  One blog “Allows Kodak to share stories about the power of imaging and invites the audience to do the same,” while the other “[F]ocuses on sharing expertise about ‘digital imaging’s technologies and its power to influence our world’” (Strother, Zohra, and Millsap).  They provide their consumers with an outlet to share and discuss their positive Kodak experiences, and a forum for the Kodak company itself to share anecdotes of their helpful and informative contributions to society.  These blogs—and forums—in turn, transform an unfathomably large, capitalist business into a nurturing community, populated with concerned, compassionate individuals who want nothing more than to hear the stories of their consumers.

 

Some might argue that blogs are detrimental, rather than beneficial, to corporations.  And while it is true that “Aside from potentially revealing trade secrets and confidential corporate information, bloggers could expose the corporation to suits for defamation or for infringement of intellectual property rights,” the rewards greatly outweigh the risks (Strother, Zohra, and Millsap).  The potential hazard of leaked information or lawsuits can easily be avoided with proper rules, regulations, and overviews, and should not deter corporations from starting a blog.  These hazards should be negated by the opportunity to foster a meaningful relationship with consumers, to educate a larger audience, and to present the corporation with a distinct edge over the competition.

 

 

Nordmeyer, Billie. The Advantages of Blogs in the Workplace. The Nest. Web. 28 August 2014.

 

Strother, Judith A., Zohra Fazal, and Melinda Millsap. (2009). Legal and ethical issues of the corporate blogosphere. IEEE Transactions On Professional Communication, 52(3), 243-253.

 

2 thoughts on “Corporate Blogs: More Reward Than Risk”

  1. It seems as though people tend to forget that posts can be shared easily with a click of the button, and it’s not like a diary that can remain under your mattress. The best and worst thing about the internet is that despite the anonymity people might feel blogging, it is very easy for people to find and read blogs, and the situation can escalate very quickly if the wrong people get their hands on it. The thing is, you have no control over who eventually comes across your post, and once something is posted, there are many ways for it to remain, even if you delete it soon after.
    However, Social media has the power to do great good, as you said, it’s not just a den of vice for people to fall into a trap- it has it’s pros as well. I think that as long as certain boundaries are set for social media use, it can be used to benefit employees and employers. Corporate-level staff can be followed on Twitter or Facebook, making themselves more open to consumers, and thereby increasing familiarity with a certain brand. Employees can use social media to promote products or services, but I think the key to it is having a stringent set of guidelines in regards to social media use. If there is clarity and communication regarding social media use, I think that online postings can be extremely beneficial. It also allows for employees to know that ‘if you do such and such, you will undergo a process that will result in disciplinary action that could lead to termination’.

  2. The rewards that you included in your response covered all of the benefits of corporate blogosphere. However, there are more risks to consider than revealing private information and being threatened by lawsuits. For example, in addition to the risks that you named, the biggest factors at risk are a corporation’s brand and reputation that are mostly due to employee negligence.

    It seems like the best solution to avoid any hazards, is as you mentioned using “proper rules, regulations, and overviews.” While I agree, all of these are very vague and cannot be defined since these terms are subjective. For instance, I also noticed that in the article, the authors used ambiguous descriptions, such as “…something negative about the company,” or, “posting the wrong thing on your blog…” (Strother). It’s a very grey area and a difficult topic to define the right’s and wrong’s. As nmotahari1 mentioned, there should be guidelines regarding the uses of social media. As corporate blogging becomes more popular and relevant, I believe someone will propose a set of guidelines that will be universally accepted over time.

    In addition to strict guidelines, I think there should be incentives that employers should give their employees to refrain from/reduce the use of social media. I know that this is a very controversial idea. Some people would say that not being fired is an adequate incentive; however, the company hired that person for a reason and has already invested the time and money into that employee. I feel that corporations have the money to invest in incentives that would benefit them in the long run.

    Overall, I felt that you hit the main points of your argument in a clear manner that is easy to understand.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Sources cited:

    Strother, Judith A., Zohra Fazal, and Melinda Millsap. (2009). Legal and ethical issues of the corporate blogosphere. IEEE Transactions On Professional Communication, 52(3), 243-253.

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