Following on from my earlier post of The Good Blogging Guide, I came across an article about blogging in the corporate environment. Although this isn’t the kind of thing you’re likely to get involved in, I bet at least once a term somebody comes to the IT team and says “We want to start a blog to promote the university more to potential students/researchers/employers etc”.
I’ve just read, and mostly agreed with, a great blog post by Paul Boag on smashingmagazine.com that sets out 10 Harsh Truths About Corporate Blogging – and I think these will just as easily apply to a university thinking about the use of blogs for marketing too.
Paul’s list of 10 Truths are:
- A blog does not magically generate traffic
- Good corporate blog requires long term commitment
- Teaser feeds are a wasted opportunity
- You are not “engaging” anyone
- Press releases shouldn’t appear on a blog
- You sound like a faceless corporation
- You need to show the warts and all
- Marketeers often make bad bloggers
- You expect too much from your readers
- Your competitors will read your blog - Get over it!
I’m not sure if Number 5 is right – I think there’s a role for a different kind of press release (let’s call it a “News Release” instead) which is written to be read by your customers, not by journalists. In these digital days, you may have more chance of your customers reading your News Releases directly from you, than through the media – especially in the UK Education market, where the range of media available has probably shrunk 40% in the last three years.
Of course, I disagree with Number 8 – but that’s just me and my selfishness!
And Number 10 is really, really spot on. Whatever you do, if it is good, your competitors (ie other universities) will know about it. So make things good, and make them jealous/share the good practice! Who knows, it may help find you new students, employers and new employees.
It’s worth reading the detail in 10 Harsh Truths About Corporate Blogging.