Trylon Communications  - December 2004
       

Be Careful Jumping On the Blog Bandwagon

Trylon has been writing about blogs and possible PR opportunities for a couple of years now, and many marketers are beginning to catch on. Companies such as Microsoft have started using blogs as communication tools. If you have been thinking about starting a company blog, here are a couple of ideas and cautions.

First, many programs are available out of the box for your blog infrastructure. There’s no need to try to reinvent the wheel; just pick one of the available blogging tools and learn to use it effectively.

Be sure to keep your content fresh. Unless you plan on updating your blog often and regularly, you may not want to start one. Stale blogs turn people off, and the last thing you want to create is another reputation liability.

Make it easy for people to learn about new blog postings and offer an opportunity for them to sign up for RSS feeds (see story.) That will keep people coming back to your blog, building the kind of repeat traffic and communication that a blog can do best.

Monitor your links on a regular basis. There’s nothing worse than someone clicking a link on your blog and getting an error message – users will blame your company for it.

Have a search function within your blog directory so that people can easily find the posts that apply to their interests. This exhibits concern and care for your readers and makes it easy for them to consider using your blog as a reference tool.

Decide how “open” you want your blog to be. Should everyone be allowed to post messages? Negative posts can become very troublesome. Many blogs allow anyone to post, but won’t publish postings until they have been reviewed by the blogmaster.. This approach allows honest feedback and keeps negative posts off the site.

Finally, make a true commitment. Have a team dedicated to updating the blog and taking responsibility. While a well-kept and fresh blog can enhance your company’s messaging, a poorly kept one can do quite a bit of damage.