Give stakeholders insights into your company personality through corporate blogging

Even though Richard Edelman’s blog entries can be verbose, 6 A.M. is a blog I enjoy.  Other than insights into the public relations profession, the blogs offers a peek into the thinking and personality that founded one of the world’s leading PR firms. 

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In his recent May entries, Richard Edelman reflected on the proceedings of a breakfast meeting of the C40 group of large city majors and the bridging role of PR in private-public partnerships; his take on smoking prevention and cessation programs–where he announced that he is offering to any Edelman staff who quits smoking in the next few months US$500 if they stayed smoke-free six months later; and shared his sense of loss and grief at the passing of a colleague whom he also considered a dear friend.

Edelman’s 6 A.M. blogs offers several lessons, but I will just discuss one here, and that is a corporate blog can be a powerful way of giving stakeholders intimate insights into your company personality that is beneath the varnished corporate website, media releases, and collaterals.  But this also means that any company that is not willing to offer a personal glimpse into its thinking and workings should probably not blog.

Can Singaporean companies do well in this area?  My observation is that for psychosocial reasons that are to lengthy to delve into here, Singaporeans by-and-large are reticent about being the public face of the organizations they work for.  It wasn’t so long ago that even sign-offs to letters responding to public queries in the newspapers made it clear that the spokesperson was speaking on behalf of yet another person (usually a higher-up).  This practice was especially prevalent among government organizations. 

A successful corporate blog is seldom run by a team of anonymous employees churning out prosaic postings on a clockwork schedule.  Rather, it is about building relationships and enaging in an ongoing, multilateral conversation.  It can only work if a company truly cares about offering a personal facet to its public face and can find ardent champions who are empowered to pry aside the corporate veils even if ever so slightly.

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