Thursday, December 13, 2007

Does the Marketing World Need a Blog Council?

Once again I owe one of my students, Amy Yen, a vote of thanks for turning up an important new web activity. A group of corporate leaders has formed The Blog Council, “dedicated to promoting best practices in corporate blogging” under the leadership of Andy Sternovitz, CEO of WOM consultancy GasPedal. The founding members are a roster of leading corporate names, many of which are already well known for the success of their blogging efforts.

With a blog that’s dedicated to exploring marketing applications of social media, in which I’ve written about blog transparency, I couldn’t be more pleased to know there’s a best practices group. I’m fortunate to contribute to a major corporate vertical blog, eBrandMarketing, while I interact with smaller businesses and non-profit organizations. In a nutshell, large corporations need a way to engage with their customers. Smaller businesses and non-profits need a way to get their message out in an environment where mass media are expensive and increasingly ineffective.

However, we all know there’s a tremendous amount of hesitance to “join the conversation”— with thanks to Joseph Jaffe whose phrase (and book) I find to perfectly capture the spirit. I don’t think it’s any more true of large or small organizations. All are wary. Many have spent years building their businesses and brands and are reluctant to open them up to new media. It’s a scary world they don’t know much about. The smaller ones and the non-profits, however, have fewer resources to devote to learning about it and in some ways they need the access even more.

So I wish the new Blog Council well. In creating an environment where they can openly and freely discuss best practices, I hope they’ll also consider how to share their expertise with a broad set of marketers who need guidance even though some of them don’t even know it yet.
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