Blogs are a nuisance, but corporations have no choice.

Corporate BloggingJust a couple of days ago, I met up with some senior executive officers in a very well established Singapore based MNC, and I was there because I was called upon to discuss my training proposal for the company.

So there I went. One of the days of my proposed training was all about blog marketing and corporate blogging. After my short introduction of the course outline, the executives started to comment about the blog marketing segment, and its seems to me that these executives are yet to be open enough to accept blogs as a marketing tool. To them, blogs are still only online diaries, still nonsensical ramblings and frustration vents for individuals.

In fact, one very strong statement that they said that got really sunk into my head was… “Blogs are a nuisance!”


To be frank, I was really kind of taken aback by the statement – that big corporations like these are still yet to embrace the newer kinds of media on the web. I was disturbed. Is blog marketing still SO new in my area? Or am I just talking to the wrong department?

One thing for sure, I see a tremendous opportunity ahead of me, because I know blog marketing and corporate blogging is going to be a big hit.

Corporations have no choice

Seriously. I take reference back to the state of the blogosphere report in October 2006, when there were 57 million blogs tracked by Technorati (the numbers would probably be close to 100 million by now).

57 million blogs. Let’s say just a super minute 1% of them are active – that’s 570,000! 570,000 active conversations on the Internet! If you are representing a multinational company, I would say at least one would be talking about the company, right? I checked through a Technorati search, and its definitely more than one! 🙂

That one conversation can be something good (which is great for your company), or it can be something not so good. The point is, the corporation needs to participate in these conversations, to address issues that people are facing with the use of your products, to know how people feel about your customer service officers, or even if people out there are thinking that you are employing false advertising (which is in fact what is happening for this company)… BEFORE the journalists and researchers from the mainstream media pick the stories up and blows that to the daily papers.

Even if no one is talking about your company on the blogosphere, this would be a brilliant opportunity to get a good word out… because if you don’t, your competitors will anyway.

Corporations have no choice but to embrace blog marketing, and they need to start now. (or rather, yesterday! :mrgreen: )

When I talk about blog marketing, I don’t mean that every corporation must start a corporate blog like Bob Lutz of GM or the recent one by Bill Marriot. I mean that the corporation must be active and aware of the blogosphere.

Blogs ARE the long tail of opinions and blogs ARE the new media. Its undeniable and there is nothing you can do to stop this, unless you send people to cut the underwater Internet cables every week :mrgreen: Sites like Blogger and WordPress have made it so easy to get started with a blog, and really, even my 12 year old cousin has a blog!

I know, blogs are also a nuisance… but that is only when you allow them to. Every negative situation handled well can be turned into a brilliant opportunity for you to get word about about your company in a positive way. Handle these nuisance well, and soon you will start to appreciate, or even yearn for more nuisance!

Corporations have no choice. Have you started?


  1. Pingback: Legal Andrew » Don’t Let Your Law Firm Lag Behind - Start a Blog

  2. Yeah right!

    Blog posts and conversations do make good research material for journalists. Maybe that’s the best way to know what’s the feeling on the ground and, what’s hot and what’s not in the blogosphere.

    Now, let’s try to understand your senior executive officers.

    The problem with executives and decision makers in many Singapore companies is that these corporate honchos are brought up in the mass culture era of the 70s and 80s. How are they supposed to understand The Long Tail phenonmenon.

    In the long tail, there are lots of noise and full of crap. So without a good filter, your “senior executive officers in a very well established Singapore based MNC” will definitely perceive this noise as nuisance.

    And in their own “realistic” world, they are damn right!

  3. Thanks Shi,

    Now I understand why… Somehow it will take time before the educational institutions pick up concepts like the long tail. Even TODAY, they are still teaching old school stuff. If these new graduates don’t pursue their own form of education, I think it will take forever for blog marketing to take off!

    Of course, so that makes me so special, cos I’m going to change that! 😉 heh heh :mrgreen:

  4. Great post. I just finished Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel and they said the samethings. Blogs are going to be an essential part of interacting with your customers. If customers or clients are having conversations about you you should at least try to participate in the conversation.
    I have a blog and I try to post daily. I maintain relationships and conversations with other bloggers and I participate in conversations in my industry. I believe that these small things give me a leg up over my competition. I think companies need to embrace blogging and use it learn what their customers want.

  5. Congrats Chris! Wonderful! Yeah, you are right on. I think maybe not all corporations need a blog, but they must participate in the conversations!

  6. Its a pity that many head honchos in Singapore do not like to listen. The days of one-way monologues are over – people want to participate and contribute towards brands that they care about. If you choose not to listen to the conversations online – or offline – the recycle bin will be where your company will be headed after some time.

    The two recent demises of Crazy Horse Paris and Jurong Crocodile Paradise were probably largely due to the unwillingness to listen to others. Check out my post on this.

  7. Hey Walter,

    Somehow I have a feeling that marketing and selling today has evolved to go the “provide what the consumer already wants” approach, rather than the “hey this product is good, try it” approach, and the Internet plays a big part of this. People buy what they think they want, not what is recommended to them.

    Hmm.. after typing out the previous paragraph, I realise I’m actually talking about the long tail 🙂

    What would be a good strategy for the big corporations now, that those products that used to monopolise the market will lose out to the niche and customised products catered for individuals with specific needs?

  8. Nelson,

    I really wonder how some multinational corporations are going to survive… unless they start working on a model for mass customization now (like how Dell does it), it will be practically impossible to serve their current customers 2 years down the road.

  9. Thanks for reporting your experiences in the boardroom.

    Personally, I would prefer NOT to see corporations in the blogosphere. They are in fact the nuisance (witness the most recent Sony PSP marketing FLOG). If they cynically think that they can slap up a fake blog with some “urban” looking generation-Yers on it and score massive street level cred they are way mistaken.

    As a participant I can contribute meaningfully to the conversaton about “what people want”. As a blogopreneur (as you so aptly put it) I can quickly adapt to meet the changing needs of my readership much faster than an overweight corporate giant.

  10. Thanks Kris, well said. Eventually, I think even the most corporate blogs need to be “humanized”, and not just marketing fluff from corporations. It shouldn’t be called a “corporate blog” in that sense right?

    I read a phrase somewhere (I’m sorry I forgot where it was) that says “Companies don’t have blogs, Humans do.”

    You are also right on when you say that it is much easier for an “individual” blog to cater to the needs of the readers, corporations have their “corporat-ey” inertia to deal with!