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27 October 2014

Are you ready for (internal) blogging?

Think about blogs as the combined digital version of the traditional printed employee magazine and the impromptu chat around the water cooler. Letters from the CEO, updates from HR, health and safety reports, customer success stories, process improvement and best practice articles, employee news and profiles, product news - all available on a daily basis direct from the subject matter experts, without the design and print costs or the delay in production. A big benefit is the interaction with the “writer” and the bonus is the conversation with other readers - available immediately versus waiting to send or read “letters to the editors” in the next magazine.

However, many organizations resist the idea of employee publishers, fearing negative content and comment. A clearly communicated blog policy and guidelines can help here. In fact most internal blogs are geared to information sharing, knowledge transfer, and project management - not complaining. And just like outside of work, employees will search and connect to blogs that contain valuable content that helps them do their job better.

Just because blogging is the “in” thing, does not mean your organisation has to do it. You need to take a strategic approach and consider how internal blogs will be part of the overall communication plan to drive business goals. What is your company culture? How broad is the adoption of social platforms? When you do take the steps to begin blogging, make sure they are well thought out, remain focused on a topic or theme, provide useful information and are regularly updated.

Here are some of the benefits of building blogs into your internal communications plan:

  • Knowledge sharing of projects, department updates, best practices can become faster and more effective
  • Institutional memory can be developed where none existed before
  • Interactive conversations between leaders and employees improve the understanding of issues and decisions beyond top-down communication channels
  • Existing intranets can provide low cost opportunity to implement blogs quickly
  • Cross functional team interaction across geographies and times zones helps overcome limited face-to-face opportunities
  • Linking to blogs via employee preference and filtering helps team members do their job better
  • Bloggers take personal responsibility, their personality comes through and their reputation is at stake, so accountability increases

It is also important to think about how these blogs could add value in your organisation. Here are some example blog topics and the value they bring:

  • CEO blogs: meet the need for authentic, transparent communication, can build trust and create understanding of ongoing business strategy
  • Project blogs: archive data, findings and learnings; eliminate the need to reinvent the wheel
  • News blogs: meet the social needs around employee milestones - birthdays, work anniversaries, awards
  • Cross functional blogs: create cohesion for those teams that don’t see each other every day, who work together on projects or common goals - and great for bridging time zones for global teams

If you could use some help to kick start your internal blogging activities, contact us now. We’ve been helping customers for 25 years in the industrial sector to deliver effective communications.


 

Topics Digital, Internal Communications , Social Media - Posted by Paulien Boumans