I did a phone interview with French company Skema this afternoon about blogging.
One interesting question I was asked was about the differences between a website and a blog for large corporations.
While technically blogs actually do exist on websites, blogs have a number of characteristics that mark them out from normal websites. These usually include chronological ordering of entries, the ability to add comments and provision of RSS feeds.
However it struck me that the most fundamental difference between a website and a blog for an organisation is that a company’s website carries messages on behalf of the company or brand – written typically in the third person.
On the other hand a company blog would carry messages from an individual – written in the first person.
The fundamental principle for companies looking at using blogs in their communications mix is that companies can’t blog. Only individuals in companies can blog, so to use blogging companies need to identify who should blog on behalf of the company.
Those selected individuals need to have good written communication skills and understand the boundaries which limit their communication on behalf of the organisation.
The use of blogs in the corporate environment requires leaders to place trust in their people in a way that they probably haven’t had to previously, and that means that the company’s culture must support this trust.
So for an organisation to be ready to use blogs in its communications mix, the first step is to develop an open and trusting organisational culture. Without this corporate blogging is likely to be a step too far.