A new report suggests the C-suite has yet to appreciate the view. The Makovsky 2006 State of Corporate Blogging Survey polled 150 senior executives from the Fortune 1000, but found relatively few were ready to embrace corporate blogs for communications purposes.
The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for the New York agency Makovsky + Company determined that only 5% of those polled were convinced to "a great extent" that corporate blogging is growing in credibility either as a communications medium, whereas 3% saw it as a tool for brand-building technique and less than 1% were convinced of its ability to generate sales or leads. These same executives saw minimal or no credibility for corporate blogs in these three areas (62%, 74%, and 70% respectively).
Furthermore, only 15% of the respondents stated someone on staff is currently writing a blog related to the company and/or its activities.
For Robbin Goodman, executive vice president at Makovsky + Company, this C-suite attitude clearly presents challenges for the corporate communications officers. "We feel you can't be in the public relations business today and not have a handle on what is going on with blogging."
Goodman notes that some corners of the corporate world (most notably General Motors and high-tech companies including IBM and Microsoft and European companies including Accenture Netherlands, Thomson UK, Benetton and Guinness) have already got the blogging message. However, she stresses that corporations must have a set blogging policy in place before anyone starts to hit the keyboard.
"As with any other public relations function, there needs to be strategic planning," says Goodman. "Employees must have a corporate blogging policy that defines what they should and should not be talking about."