Entering the blogosphere

As this is written, there are more than 62 million Web blogs currently in existence and, with 175,000 more being created each day — according to Internet search engine Technorati, which indexes and tracks blogs — there will likely be several million more by the time you read this.
So it should come as no surprise that many businesses have also come to recognize blogs for what they are — a wildly popular communications tool that allows a company to connect with its customers in a new way — one that can be just as effective at building brand awareness and fostering an ongoing dialogue as more traditional methods.
Forty-three companies in the Fortune 500 reportedly have established blogs. Executives at General Motors, Boeing, Ford, Wal-Mart, Nike and Southwest Airlines have blogs, as does the president of Ducati motorcycles, Federico Minoli, who updates his http://blog.ducati.com/ site weekly.
Maine’s Sabre Yachts, based in South Casco, became one of the first businesses in the boating industry to start a blog, unveiling www.sabreyachtsblog.com in December 2005. The site seeks to “actively engage the public and the people within the company on the boat building process, the yachting lifestyle and other related topics,” the company said in a press release about the blog’s creation.
“It’s important for us to let the public understand what separates a Sabre Yacht and the Sabre brand from the rest,” said Bentley Collins, Sabre’s vice president of marketing and sales.
As Jerry Flaxman wrote in the pages of this magazine last year (“Making Blogs Work,” September 2006), blogs can help attract new buyers, improve customer service, build customer loyalty, recruit employees and help manage a crisis — all in addition to helping increase Web site traffic.
If you are interested in starting a blog at your company, “The Blogging Success Study,” conducted by Northeastern University and Backbone Media (which can be found at www.scoutblogging.com/success_study/) is an excellent resource. It examines the content and approach successful business bloggers use, shares recurring factors that make for a successful corporate blog (culture, transparency, time, dialogue, writing style and personalization) and offers interviews with 20 companies that use business blogs.
Flaxman’s article also provides several helpful hints. It can be found at www.boatingindustry.com.

Transition Planning Tips
Those interested in learning more about succession planning and — perhaps even more so — those who haven’t given it much thought or believe it’s a waste of time may want to read an article in the November 2006 issue of Entrepreneur magazine titled “Lost in Transition.”
The three-page feature story explains why succession planning is important and the basic steps needed to begin the process. You can also go to www.entrepreneur.com/features/transitionplanning for answers to a number of succession planning FAQs.
— BY Jonathan Mohr

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button