3D Corporate Blogging – Marketing, PR, Advertising

How has blogging shaped the evolution of the four branches of communication between a company and its stakeholders? A question that bedevils all of marketers and, but one that our friend Eric Kintz has bravely put forth to leaders in the different areas of corporate communication – Marketing, PR, Advertising, Creative and Research.

Here’s my take on three interesting perspectives that I could glean from the conversation:

1. Marketing

David Churbuck is Vice President, Global Web Marketing at Lenovo.
David’s personal blog: Churbuck

In terms of functionality, the primary differentiation between a blog and a standard site is the ability for the audience to comment and engage.

That’s so accurate in that David has echoed a sentiment voiced by Scoble recently in the Ze Frank-Rocketboom smackdown, regarding vlog download numbers. Scoble says:

There’s another stat out there called “engagement.” No one is measuring it that I know of. What do I mean?
So, why should engagement matter to an advertiser? Well, as an advertiser I want to talk to an audience who’ll actually DO something. Yeah, I’m hoping to get a sale.

How could we measure audience engagement?

Measuring audience engagement is definitely going to be the Holy Grail for us marketers and I know that already Charlene Li from Forrester research could help. Scoble suggests that Steve Gillmor’s Gesture Lab may also help crack the mystery of engagement numbers for blogs and vlogs. Who do you think will enable better stats on blogging and blog adoption?

2. Advertising

Will Waugh is Senior Director, Communications – ANA.
Will’s blog: ANA Marketing Maestros

More and more advertisers (B2B and B2C) see the blogosphere as a must in their integrated plans. The utilization of blogs is critical, particularly in a growing world where social currency is more and more important.

I couldn’t agree more with Will. Personally, I believe blogs are probably the most important brand-building tool there is out there today. Why? Because, as Jennifer Rice says:

…customers are our best sales force… when they’re rallied together into a community, their individual powers are combined into a brand-building force to be reckoned with.

Here’s an example of how Saturn built their brand around community (via Jennifer’s blog). Case study.

3. PR

Dan Greenfield – Vice President of Corporate Communications, EarthLink
Dan’s Blog
: Bernaisesource

Blogging is everything that PR isn’t supposed to be.

I couldn’t agree more with Dan. If by definition, PR is “the art and science of managing communication between an organization and its key publics to build, manage and sustain its positive image” blogging turns it on its head and could very well be called “the art of truly communicating with an organization’s key publics“, which in itself could translate to a positive image!

Dan also brings up a great point that traditional PR is one-way (Us to you) while blogging is about two-way communication (us to you and you to us). However, I agree that blogging isn’t going to replace PR, rather is going to help redefine the way companies communicate with customers; rather than just talk, now they can choose to listen. What would you rather do if you want to build a relationship?

This is definitely a conversation that we marketers should revisit regularly to define the State of the Marketing Blogosphere. Kudos to Eric for bringing together such a conversation.

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