Friday, May 25, 2007

The Corporate Blogging conversation

Last night’s Blogout event organised by a bunch of young people known as The Digital Movement was quite a hit, with a room packed full of blogging enthusiasts doing what they do best – sharing their thoughts.

You can imagine how noisy the room was, with five tables with about 10 chairs each, crowded around by different bloggers at times, each straining to hear what others were saying while trying to squeeze in some comments of their own.

I found myself at the table discussing corporate blogging, and what started out as a ‘look and see’ thing for me turned into a full-on participative and learning experience.

Some of those at the table with me were Melvin Yuan of Burson-Marsteller and, Ming Shen Cheo of, Benjamin Koe of Hill & Knowlton, Bernard of, Darius (I didn’t get his name card), Clarice Chiam, Priscilla Teo of Fulford PR, Angeline Yeo of Marketing’s sister publication Procurement magazine, Huang Renzhi of The Digital Movement, and others.

We spoke about almost the whole spectrum of corporate blogging, covering why companies should start a blog (should it just start one then set a direction or vice versa?), should the CEO alone blog or should everyone in the company be encouraged to blog and if so, won’t it be confusing to have 200 different voices all talking at once in one blog…

We basically agreed:

  1. you have to have some idea of what you want to achieve when you start a blog related to you company / business
  2. you have to know who your target audience is
  3. you have to have something interesting to say, or else why say it
  4. and most importantly, you have to be honest.

I think that last point was the most important thing I took away from the event. You see, the worry that marketers in Singapore have, and I’m sure in most parts of the world too, is they cannot deal with negative comments and criticism from readers of the blogs. Either that, or they don’t want to have to deal with these things.

That may possibly be the reason why companies like Apple made a rule that does not allow employees to blog on anything related to the company. But I am assuming this is the reason.

Anyway, I asked Melvin Yuan this and his answer made me almost kick myself. He said if your company is an honest one that does not have anything to hide, and you happen to get some nasty comments from people, you will have no problems countering those attacks with fair responses. In fact, you may not even have to bother making any counter arguments because other bloggers will speak up for you.

So the blogosphere ‘self-governs’ and self corrects, which is exactly what the internet is all about. Eureka! No excuse for marketers now. If you’re not blogging soon, I’ll assume it’s because you have nothing interesting to say – don’t pretend it’s otherwise.

Just another thing before I sign off: I’m glad I learnt what is Twittering! Another social networking thing which basically keeps your friends in the loop on what you are doing at any particular point in time. Simple smsed to the page or by logging into the site on your laptop, you can type up to 140 words on what you’re doing and see what your friends are up to as well.

Anyway, kudos to The Digital Movement for pulling off an interesting event.

Photos from Nic of Microsoft


Charis_jp said...

Great to meet you and Clarice again last evening!! Unfortunately, I had something on and had to run off earlier...

btw..My surname is Tan. Priscilla Tan. hehe not teo ...

catch up again soon!!

Vivien Goh said...

Do keep me informed about when the next event will be, looks like it was a blast with all the information exchange!

-Vivien Goh