Posted March 5, 2007 7:15 am by with 8 comments

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Last week, Rand Fishkin accurately identified several reasons why Fortune 500s and other large corporations can’t blog. While I found myself vehemently agreeing with everything he said, I got to the end and wanted to hear the other side of the story. (It’s a character flaw.) I thought I’d give it a shot.

If you’re a big enough brand, people are already interested in you

They’re probably talking about you. They may even be interested in what you have to say. You have a built in audience. There are about 50 million bloggers who would kill to have that.

You’re doing newsworthy things all the time
In the comments of the SEOmoz post, some commenters remarked that you should write about the industry, rather than the product. As a major corporation, you’re making an impact on the industry all the time. Not everything warrants a press release, but there should be lots of things going on to talk about (even if it’s not “promoting” your company and products).

You already have at least one person on staff or retainer to manage your media attentions and customer communications, whether that’s in PR, website copy or even e-mails to clients. In fact, blogging can integrate well with things your content providers are already doing: announcing new products (but not by cut-and-pasting your press release), answering questions (but not by cut-and-pasting your FAQ page), and helping customers.

Everyone needs somewhere to toot your own horn
Handled a customer complaint especially deftly? Gave back to the community? While a blog shouldn’t solely be a vehicle for self-promotion, where else can you find an audience of passionate users who actually want to hear good things about you? Perhaps even better than writing about the good things you do yourself, you can find news stories casting your company in a positive light and link to them, providing additional insight or first person accounts.

It makes you human
This is possibly the most important reason of all because this is one of the biggest advantages of blogging to large corporations. Face it, you’re faceless. If you can pull off blogging, you add the human touch that will set you apart from your competition and all the other large corporations out there. Realize that this does mean that you’ll have to sound like a real person in your blog instead of like a press release—but you can do that.

Can you think of any other advantages that large corporations have in blogging?

  • It can also add a few pages in the SERPs that will lead to your site. Chances are that once people open your blog, they will click through to your main site.

  • Well I have to disagree with Rand’s original post, and I’d rather put it here due to the rigmarole he puts you through just to comment… I find Rand’s stuff to be a lot more baiting and “playful” in a sense, while Marketing Pilgrim is more direct in it’s approach to offering information, and does it’s play within affecting change within the industry.

    A blog IS a vehicle for total self expression and promotion… and while it shouldn’t be “buy my product, buy my service” it should demonstrate expertise in your field and provide free educational tools if you are writing a blog on behalf of your business. I thought corporate folks are smart enough to do that, and who cares if they aren’t writing with “emotion”. His points about the political nature of blogs and how it will get watered down due to corp politics is so true, but you need to have someone write that is like the corporate rebel… who doesn’t care… and there are always a few within even big companies.

  • I like how some bigger companies have employess that are allowed to speak their minds about their companies products and position in the market. Much like Matt Cutts. Yes he works for Google, yes he is a valued employess but what he writes about on his blog are his own feelings and not Googles. To me, it gives Google more personality rather than a faceless multi-million dollar company.

    Larger companies have so many restrictions on what employees are and are not allowed to say. If they allowed people to discuss their opinion’s openly they could create a more positive impression of the company.

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  • How about feedback? If you’re an exec at a Fortune 500, how often do you hear from real, actual customers? Or non-customers who have some other interest in your business…or who are on the verge of becoming customers?

    A blog with comments is much easier to manage than a free-for-all user forum–it seems like a very practical way for a large company to get some qualitative understanding of their audience outside of structured focus groups and surveys.

  • Jordan McCollum

    @Amy—you make a great point. I’ll have a follow up tomorrow that covers that!

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