21 Top tips for writing a corporate blog

Posted by on Mar 3, 2008 in Blogging

OK, I assume you know that this is Robert Scobler‘s list of 21 tips for writing a corporate blog. It’s called the The Corporate Weblog Manifesto and he wrote it in February 2003. It’s still valid today. You can download the manifesto from changethis.com. Btw, Scrobleizer launched his new channel, ScobleizerTV today. Guy Kawasaki always provides good advice, and here are his tips after 120 days of blogging.Here are the first ten things to consider when you start a corporate blog (according to Scrobleizer):1) Tell the truth. The whole truth. Nothing but the truth. If your competitor has a product that’s better than yours, link to it. You might as well. We’ll find it anyway.2) Post fast on good news or bad. Someone say something bad about your product? Link to it — before the second or third site does — and answer its claims as best you can. Same if something good comes out about you. It’s all about building long-term trust. The trick to building trust is to show up! If people are saying things about your product and you don’t answer them, that distrust builds. Plus, if people are saying good things about your product, why not help Google find those pages as well?3) Use a human voice. Don’t get corporate lawyers and PR professionals to cleanse your speech. We can tell, believe me. Plus, you’ll be too slow. If you’re the last one to post, the joke is on you!4) Make sure you support the latest software/web/human standards. If you don’t know what the W3C is, find out. If you don’t know what RSS feeds are, find out. If you don’t know what weblogs.com is, find out. If you don’t know how Google works, find out.5) Have a thick skin. Even if you have Bill Gates’ favorite product people will say bad things about it. That’s part of the process. Don’t try to write a corporate weblog unless you can answer all questions — good and bad — professionally, quickly, and nicely.6) Don’t ignore Slashdot.7) Talk to the grassroots first. Why? Because the main-stream press is cruising weblogs looking for stories and looking for people to use in quotes. If a mainstream reporter can’t find anyone who knows anything about a story, he/she will write a story that looks like a press release instead of something trustworthy. People trust stories that have quotes from many sources. They don’t trust press releases.8) If you screw up, acknowledge it. Fast. And give us a plan for how you’ll unscrew things. Then deliver on your promises.9) Underpromise and over deliver. If you’re going to ship on March 1, say you won’t ship until March 15. Folks will start to trust you if you behave this way. Look at Disneyland. When you’re standing in line you trust their signs. Why? Because the line always goes faster than its says it will (their signs are engineered to say that a line will take about 15% longer than it really will).10) If Doc Searls says it or writes it, believe it. Live it. Enough said.

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