December 31, 2005
Fortune 500 companies that blog don’t do as well with their share price, indicate data cited by PSFK. Chris Anderson and Doc Searls hypothesize ‘that the companies that blogged were often those that had less coherent and successful corporate messaging that those that didn’t.’
This sounds correct to me. Some of the corporations that use corporate blogging don’t take back any notion of how the brand should be managed, though I am sure they do use some of the ideas fed back by readers for other areas of their businesses (as in sales). It is possible for these blogs to help these companies—but they must integrate them into the branding and marketing communications’ processes, complete with feedback.
Trouble is, companies like GM don’t seem to possess a two-way communications’ model. The GM Fast Lane blog reﬂects one-way thinking, based on the times I have visited it. It, like the rest of GM’s marketing, still smacks of “ﬁre it out”, rather than, ‘How do you view us today, and where can we take you?’ The brands are still driven by the few, rather than the many, at their peril.
It’s not the blogs at fault, it’s the failure to consider them as part of the branding process, and by extension the overall strategy.
A ﬁnal comment on this as I sense Chris Macrae will ask the same: how do we know the share price is the best indication of the corporation’s strength? Should blogs be measured against them? Or should they be measured on the strength of the informal networks, and their potential (ultimately) to perform better in brand awareness, sales, market share or social responsibility—which might not be reﬂected in the share price readily? permalink
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I still believe in my rationale, even if the data on which the story was based do not show sufﬁcient correlation between share price and blogging, according to David Kline: ‘True, there are a number of firms that started blogging clearly because they were suffering image problems that their traditional PR methods failed to redress—Microsoft, GM and Boeing are cases in point. Interestingly, though, while Microsoft's share price is down nearly 9% the past year, Boeing's is up 29%.’Post a Comment
My point, however, differs from Anderson, Searls et al: mine is about how well integrated audience feedback is. The more inclusive a brand, the more likely it will do well share-wise.
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