Corporate Blogging Talk Draft [en]

[fr] Je donne une conférence dans un peu plus d'un mois à des responsables de communication d'entreprises suisses. On m'a demandé de fournir une présentation de mon intervention, qui figurera sur l'invitation. Voici la version resultant de deux jours en sueur (oui je sais, c'est pas très impressionnant!) -- j'apprécierais votre feedback en la matière si vous lisez l'anglais.

A little over a month from now, I’ll be giving a talk on corporate blogging to leading communications executives of Swiss companies. I’ve been asked to provide an introduction to my talk, which will be included alongside some biographical information in the invitation to the event. Here’s my draft, based on examples of previous invitations I was given:

> Blogs are way more than teenage diaries, and it is now common knowledge that they can be a precious tool in corporate environments. Many companies today are interested in embracing social media, and some take the plunge — unfortunately, not always with the desired results.

> Blogging is not a magical solution. Though it requires little technical skill to exertblog (akin to sending an e-mail), it comes bundled with the culture of openness and real human dialogue described at the beginning of the decade in The Cluetrain Manifesto, which can be at odds with existing corporate communication practice.

> When a corporation starts blogging, whether behind the firewall or on the internet, it changes. Not all corporations are ready for that. Not all corporations can accommodate those sometimes unpredictable changes.

> Though one could just start blogging blindly, it is wiser in a corporate setting to identify some particular needs or problems which can be addressed with social media. Though social media is by nature error-tolerant, it would be a mistake to underestimate the importance of learning the “blogging culture”, or the time required to keep a blog alive.

> Stephanie Booth will share her insights on how blogs can find a place inside corporate culture, and how to go around introducing them in such a setting. The focus will be on blogging culture and practices, illustrated by real-world examples taken directly from the blogosphere.

I’ve been struggling with it for the last two days, and I’d appreciate your feedback in the comments (both on the language and the content).

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14 thoughts on “Corporate Blogging Talk Draft [en]

  1. I’m procrastinating on a project of my own, so naturally I found time to come up with a possible new draft of your intro. To wit:

    Blogs are now widely understood to be way more than self-indulgent diaries, but many companies which embrace blogs and other social media fail to achieve anywhere near the expected beneficial results. Why is this?

    Stephanie Booth, a veteran blogger and social media practitioner, will share her insights on how companies can avoid common pitfalls and succeed in social media. Though blogging requires no more technical skill than sending an e-mail, successful corporate blogs operate within a culture of openness and authentic human dialogue that is often at odds with normal corporate communications. Thus, when a corporation starts blogging, it starts changing. And where that change might lead, no one can know with certainty. Not every corporation is ready to take the leap.

    Booth will detail successful strategies, such as identifying a particular need or set of problems which can be addressed with social media. She will make clear what it takes to learn the “blogging culture” and how much time it takes to maintain a successful blog.

    Her presentation will highlight methods of introducing blogs in a corporation. She will use real-world examples taken from existing blogs to illustrate nuances of the blogging culture, and how your corporation can successfully join it.

  2. Hmm. I could offer a lot of edits (Like Len, I’d pass on using the word ‘teenage’ as the tone-setting intro to the piece) but that would take it away from your voice towards someone else’s. Also, you didn’t specify the language you’re speaking in so all of them would be quite moot to a pathetic monoglot like myself. I did wonder whether a concrete example of why blogs are important would be more useful to your audience and establish more of an expectation that they’re going to hear something practical and relevant. You could lose the first two paragraphs and drop it in there. (Dell’s recent kerfuffle?)

  3. By the way. You might as well want to look at what the Deutshe Bank put together about corporate blogging a few year ago. So far, it seems to me quite the best collection of different business blogs approach. While it didn’t go a lot in details, you may easily connect the dot by yourself.

    The link:

  4. I think it is important to build a case for why blogs are valuable to companies. How about explaining how customers are using the web to connect with one another and compare products and brands. Customers use blogs, websites, wikis and other social media to discuss products and brands. And if a company wishes to connect with customers its important to be involved in those discussions.

  5. Thanks a lot to everybody for your feedback — Len in particular for your re-write, which just makes it sound how it should sound, honestly. I hope you’re OK with me using it!

  6. Hi Stephanie,

    I guess the example of what Robert Scoble professional Blog brought to Microsoft is quite impressive.

    I think it has been estimated it would have costs Microsoft about US$50M should they have to set up a communication campaign with a similar benefit.

    This could be used as the concrete example Michael is talking about.

    Good luck for your talk !

    cecil (

  7. Your first introduction wasn’t too bad in my opinion. Maybe you make a lot of side notes and open up too many doors to issues, problems or questions companies may have about blogging. I don’t think that this is generally a bad thing, it just depends on how concise you want to be. I would try finding a balance of giving hints and providing insights in a text that is meant as an introduction. It should keep that teasing factor and focus on only a few questions you have the feeling are on top of the minds of your audience.

    Assuming you are talking to Swiss corporations–In my experience, their entire corporate culture is driven by a classic marketing approach: You tell people, you make them buy, you impose your strategies on people’s behavior patterns, sending a message in only one direction. The idea of blogging and allowing people to comment content freely is of course a scary thought for many companies. So I would say that until today, in terms of blogging, this fear is still dominating the Swiss economy. It’s the main reason why many see blogs as a PR channel and not much more.

    I think if you focus on this one point in your introduction and maybe add one or two lines or hints of your presentation content, you will pick up the audience where they are standing now. You are doing this already, but it could be much more direct and less cluttered with side notes. I always tell this myself for my own writing: make it simpler. Straight sentences, each for one thought.

    Len’s version isn’t bad. It already implements some of the ideas above.

    Good luck with your talk!

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