Evan Carmichael & Associates

The Battle of the Blogs

How Corporations Are Turning To A New Tool For Success


Toronto, Ontario -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/11/2007 -- Love them or hate them, these days it seems as if everybody has one. No, we’re not talking about mothers-in-law or Blackberries. We’re talking about blogs, those online hubs that often seem to find themselves at the centre of so much controversy. But what used to be platforms used by tech-savvy teenagers to rant and rave about social woes are now becoming sophisticated tools in a company’s arsenal of weapons.

A recent poll by BlogOn found that 55 percent of corporations are now blogging. 91.4 percent of those use blogs for internal communications, while 96.6 percent use them for external outreach. Those figures drop significantly among Fortune 500 companies, of which, according to the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Index, only 8 percent reportedly maintain public blogs.

Entrepreneurship expert Evan Carmichael is not surprised by those numbers. “While many of the largest companies are reacting slowly to the rising trend of corporate blogging, it is a rising trend nonetheless,” he says. “The longer businesses take to recognize that, the longer they are delaying their own success.”

Corporate blogs are generally used for two purposes: to communicate with a company’s own employees, or as a promotional tool to reach its target market. “Because they are fast, cheap, and easy to use, blogs are becoming a new must-have for all companies, big and small,” says Carmichael. “They create an open dialogue between executives, staff, and customers, raise a company’s visibility, and generally help to build its credibility.”

Google, one company that is at the forefront of the corporate blogging phenomenon, has taken things to the next level. “Google has let its employees use blogs for everything from sharing code and meeting minutes, to personal things letting colleagues know what the other is thinking about,” says Carmichael. “They’ve created a blog that is not only efficient, but helps to create a sense of community.”

For some, however, that ease of use does not make up for the numerous challenges that seem inherent in blogs. “Some companies struggle to maintain enough enthusiasm to keep a blog going, while others find it difficult to garner that enthusiasm in the first place,” says Carmichael. “Then, there’s also the challenge of dealing with comments that might not be appropriate for the whole world to see.”

While many companies leave the blogging up to the CEO, some have taken a bottom-up approach, placing the responsibility squarely on its employees. This, says Carmichael, could have many ramifications. “It’s great that some companies want to involve their staff in their blogs, but they need to go about it in a smart way. Make sure there is some sort of corporate policy in place that establishes guidelines for blog content.”

According to Technorati, a popular blog search engine, there are over 91.1 million blogs on the Internet today, with more than 175,000 new ones being created every day, and over 18 blog updates every second. “Just look at those figures,” says Carmichael. “If a company is not getting in on those numbers, it’s missing out.”

Evan Carmichael is available for an interview. Please contact him at evan@evancarmichael.com.

Evan is an entrepreneur and international speaker. Evan's website, http://www.evancarmichael.com/ is the world's #1 website for small business motivation and strategies. With over 130,000 monthly visitors, 1050 contributing authors, and 22,500 pages of content no website shares more profiles of famous entrepreneurs and inspires more small business owners than EvanCarmichael.com. Evan has been interviewed by newspapers, radio stations, and television stations including The Globe and Mail, CHUM FM, CityTV, Global TV, OMNI TV, Enterprise, and the Toronto Sun.