The growing pains of company blogging

Gregory Ciotti has some really good advice for getting through the growing pains on your company blog over on Help Scout. Blogging for a corporate entity is damn hard. Most organizations have a hard time with it, if they even try.

I really like the ending segment, where he talks about transitioning a company blog from a marketing mechanism to a company platform.

I'm quoting that section in full, but do read the entire article:

You enter interesting times when Whole Company Blogging becomes a real possibility. Having a platform gives voice to your team.

Since passionate people like working with passionate people, projecting craftsmanship, personality, and a healthy, welcoming environment is an irreplaceable touch-point and first impression. Done well, content doesn’t just transform marketing, it transforms hiring.

But with it comes more responsibility.

Drawing the line of commitment. Everyone contributes in their own way, so writing should never become a homework assignment. That said, a certain level of commitment is required—if you’re on-deck for an upcoming essay, there must be deadlines and accountability.

Speaking for the team. When someone writes for the blog, it speaks for the company. “Your opinion” will reflect on the team whether you want it to or not. That doesn’t mean stifling contrarian viewpoints, but recognizing how audiences view company blogs—as a collection of thoughts that the team (mostly) agrees with.

Avoiding the friction of editing. Candor matters, and when it comes to editing, it matters a whole lot. Having your ideas (even politely) picked apart can be disheartening. Writers are calloused shells forged hard by editing, but your teammates are not. You must make their writing better without any misunderstanding.

Over time you’ll gain unity on all of these concerns; no worries there. Once the ball gets rolling, publishing at your company takes on a whole new life.

If you can achieve this with your company blog — the whole company platform — then you've done well. Moreover, I think you'll really start to see the investment pay off.

I get a ton of news and information from company blogs. A good company blog is invaluable for defining your corporate culture to the outside world: for hiring purposes, press coverage, customer loyalty, and other reasons.

If you can craft a voice for your blog, and have your whole team (or at least a good portion of it) invested in the effort, you've got something special on your hands.

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