Just about everyone is corporate blogging these days, but that doesn’t mean they are doing it right. If your company’s blog reads like PR Newswire, don’t count on many readers. There really is a place for the corporate blog, particularly when it comes to showcasing new products, diving into stats and even breaking news. A great example of this occurred today at Time Warner Cable, which used its blog to announce one-hour service windows. Anyone who has spent hours waiting on the “cable guy” will know there is a passionate audience for this topic.
How do you know if your company’s blog is any good? Well, if we’re reading it on a semi-regular basis, that’s a positive sign. CableFAX.com reached out to some of the cable blogs we frequent and asked writers for their best advice on corporate blogging. Here’s what they had to say…
Discovery Director, Digital Communications & Social Media
While blogging on behalf of your company should be done with a clear strategy and consistent guidelines, don’t get stuck on the "corporate" part of "corporate blogging." Personality is key to any type of blogging and writing as a person and not a company makes your content palatable and engaging. Additionally, do not be afraid to let photos and videos do the talking for you as a part of your posts or to bring on guest bloggers who can offer a unique expertise or perspective. For instance, some of our reporting from events—from San Diego Comic-Con to our Discovery Impact CSR initiatives—is best told through photography and captions instead of a long narrative. We also work closely with internal thought leaders, such as our research team, to share regular features on broader industry issues like social TV.
Time Warner Cable Director, Digital Communications
– Never hire an outside firm to blog for you. If you can’t find somebody internally who can write intelligently about your own business, a blog cannot fix your problems.
– Avoid business clichés like “leverage” instead of “use.” Write the way you’d talk to your cool uncle who took you to see a rock concert. If you actually say "leverage" in conversation, your friends find you boring.
– Find artists and writers who want to be artists and writers and you’ll get content that’s vivid and unique.
– Think about why people share content. Nobody reads a corporate blog for fun, unless they’re making fun of it. They read it because it’s useful.
– People don’t care about what you want to say. They care about what you can do for them.
Suddenlink, SVP, Corporate Communications
Launched five-plus years ago to provide timely updates about programming disputes, our blog evolved into a general informational vehicle, populated with a diversity of customer-engaging content, from information about popular TV programs (e.g., season premieres) to new VOD releases; from product/service launches to subjects that drive consumer inquiries (e.g., seasonal, sun-related disruptions of TV signals). To maintain a steady stream of such content, our team works from an annual calendar of recurring seasonal posts and conducts daily searches for items of potential interest. The goal is to publish two to three posts per weekday on subjects we believe will be of the greatest interest to our customers, based on popular search terms and historical posts that have attracted the most visits, views, shares and/or comments.
Cisco, Director of Corporate Communications
The number one rule for blogging, as with all social media, is to offer value to your audience. And never forget that blogging is a two-way conversation. Don’t blog if you don’t want to have a dialogue on whatever you are writing about. Our rule on comments at Cisco is that if the comment is on topic, we publish it even if it is critical. Listening is paramount and blogging and other social media allows us to do this.
Comcast Corp, Chief Blogger
The focus of the newly launched corporate website is to highlight all of the parts that make Comcast what it is. In order to do that, we needed to develop a robust content strategy to meet this demand. The other part that is equally important is how we promote these stories. We don’t limit stories to just mainstream topics but rather look at niche communities. Every story is an interesting story to someone. Whether the topic is entertainment, technology, or community affairs there is an interested audience. Defining this audience is key to your content strategy.
NCTA, Vice President, Communications & Digital Strategy
Actively maintaining CableTechTalk is an important part of NCTA’s digital engagement strategy. We use our blog as a way to share an insider’s perspective on the issues affecting our industry and to highlight issues, interesting data and other items that support NCTA’s mission. CableTechTalk gives us a chance to be more casual in tone and develop relationships with our digital communities. It serves as a creative space where we can experiment with different types of content like video and infographics. But perhaps most importantly, our blog functions as an easy-to-use, flexible platform that allows us to quickly publish substantive content.
Viacom, Coordinator, Corporate Communications and Social Media
Be sure to differentiate your blog from traditional press materials, and if you can, create a symbiosis between the two. We don’t see it as a place to reprint press releases or announce tune-ins for new shows, but instead try and feature exclusive content. Have it complement your traditional press materials. For example, we announced new social media research on May 21 via press release, but then blogged about the “Deadly Sins of Social Media” gleaned from the study. We also try to promote the blog internally to drive employee awareness and interest, and spur contributions from all corners of the company. That’s what we want ideally—the insights and ideas that drive our business, from people all across the company.