Thought Leadership: How That Translates Into Starting a Corporate Blog
Self-publishing on a corporate blog is the best way to promote your expertise and amplify your voice and your position in your industry.
For many smaller companies, the aspiration to rise above the competition is there, but the execution can seem overwhelming. However, one of the most strategic areas where you can compete regardless of your company size is thought leadership. Thought leadership is what rules in any sound communications plan. And a corporate blog is the perfect place to showcase your expertise.
Blogs are your owned space for discussing what matters most to your organization. You do not have to share anyone else’s side of the story, you can simply present what you will benefit from. This is the difference between earned media and owned content. Earned media is outside of your control, but that is also why it is the most trusted form of news. Secure earned media by leveraging your owned content through your blog. Directing reporters to your corporate blog for an additional source of content and story ideas is an easy way to build a relationship with a reporter. The more relevant content you provide, the faster those relationships will grow.
A blog provides options for how to best position your work. Why? They are a more relaxed environment to make an announcement. As a result, you can use your corporate blog space to reveal new products, announce partnerships, and show growth in your company. Because it’s a more informal mode of communication, it’s a very effective way to expand on a formal press release announcement — or a way to dispense of a formal announcement altogether.
CONSISTENCY AND RELEVANCE
Consistency and relevance are the most important rules of blogging, be it corporate or personal. Once you start to grow your audience, you want to serve them relevant content on a regular basis. Have a posting plan and start slow. A good rule of thumb is to post once a week at first. You can then grow to posting several times a week or even several times a day as your appetite and comfort grow. Work with at least two weeks of postings planned in advance. If you are in a field with a lot of breaking news and you want to use this format to comment on those activities, then simply break into your two-week editorial calendar with a breaking news post, and that will still give you several evergreen posts to follow.
CONTENT IS EVERYWHERE
Listen during department meetings, read your industry’s news publications, speak to the experts within your company, and you will begin to find content ideas everywhere you look. Consider setting up a repetitive, themed post once a week. For example, in my organization, I have established the Friday morning news roundup. We gather three or four news stories from the industry and write a 1–2 line summary, along with the headline. This is a quick but effective way to keep everyone apprised of recent events at a high level, and doesn’t require extensive research or approval.
Speaking of approvals, it is best to set the approval process in the beginning. Who needs to see the posts before they go live? Legal, your boss, the CEO? Who is your proofreader? No matter how large or small your organization is, someone should be reviewing your posts for accuracy and typos. A second pair of eyes is required. Having a sound process ensures your blog posts are strategic and — perhaps just as important — will help you to avoid headaches and embarrassment. As time goes on, your approval process should become second nature to all of those involved, allowing for a reasonable turnaround time.
Set forth and conquer. Launch your corporate blog. Let everyone know your company is the leader in your field.
Bonus: Here are 44 different types of content. This is a terrific list to jump start your corporate blog idea generation.
Keosha Burns is a public relations and social strategy professional in Washington, D.C. with more than ten years of experience developing global brands. She launched her own consultancy, IntersectionPR, focusing on dynamic and authentic storytelling, to help industries reach the Millennial audience.