Corporate Blogging: Why All The Ruckus?

by Renee Robbins on April 28, 2010

Why are people so afraid of having a corporate blog?  It’s crazy but I see it all the time.  Fabulous employees who understand the Internet, and even have their own Facebook and Twitter accounts, shutter at the idea of starting a corporate blog either internally or externally.  I could go on and on about the perks that a corporate blog gives you externally but that’s not what Learning Putty is all about.  We’re about giving you the tools that you need to fill the learning gaps in your organization.  But, what’s that you say…. external blogs can help that too.  Well, then let’s take a look at the issues then and explain why a corporate blog is a perfect choice.

“It’s hard to come up with content.”

True, figuring out something juicy and interesting to write about isn’t always the easiest thing.  However when you look at blogging from a learning and development perspective it’s not about juicy, interesting, or even timely 100% of the time.  It’s about having a resource.  It’s about making what you have in your head available to the masses when they need it.  For instance we’ve all heard the stats on the number of baby boomers that will be leaving the workforce soon.  Honestly most of them would be gone except for the fact that the economy tanked.  The thing is, what is your company doing to collect all of the information that they have in their heads?  The truth is that when they walk through that door on their last day so will 25+ years of knowledge, best practices, and cost-saving short cuts.  But, you can use a simple solution right now in order to store all of that information in a way that is easy for your employees to find – through a blog.  Trust me, you’ll be kicking yourself when that employee retires  and you start saying to yourself each day for 3 months, 6 months, or a year “Man, I wish I knew what he used to do with that stuff.” 

“We can get along without it, so why waste the staff now?”

Really, can you?  This may seem like a silly question because obviously you go in to work, do something, come home, and then go back in the next day.  So, yes perhaps you are getting along but in training and development it seems like that’s all we ever really do.  We get along by filling a need that somebody presents to us, or we get along by fulfilling a legal obligation to train on compliance, privacy, harassment, or whatever –  all the while knowing that the employees that take this “training” won’t remember a damn thing anyway.  But, we don’t call any of that a waste (well, I guess some of us do).  Nevertheless, we are always looking for a way to “teach” without “training.”  Trying to figure out how we can really be a valuable source of learning.  Having a blog resource is a step in the right direction.  As we know, adults learn when they feel the need.  However, one of the major problems with corporate learning is the information is never compiled completely or easily accessible.  Therefore employees turn to each other for help and this is a source of a whole new set of problems since most end up learning the wrong way to do a task.  Instead blogging gives you the ability to be out in front of a problem and actually be there when people need help.  My bet is that in the long run giving them an outlet that has the CORRECT answers will lead to less wasted training in the future.

“External blogs are Marketing’s business, Training doesn’t have any place in that decision.”

I fully believe that external corporate blogging will make its way to the forefront of many advertising strategies by the middle of this decade, so yes, I agree that it is a “Marketing thing.”  But, the perks don’t just stop at the door of the Marketing Department.  External blogs are a great way to get direct customer insight into your business.  The comments that customers leave can be your first insight into a potential issue that training can solve.  This information can be critical when compiling a needs assessment.  Just because your title says “Employee Training” don’t limit yourself to that audience.  You and your employees can learn so much about how your company should operate by listening to the voices outside of it.

Look, don’t get hung up on the term “corporate blogging.”  It sounds so formal.  Honestly, blogging is the same as writing an email to a friend.  My blogs tend to be a bit longer because that’s how I write.  Yours can be a paragraph, a sentence, or a word… or a short video if you want.  The key is just to act as a resource then go from there.  That’s my thought anyway… what’s yours?

Best,

P.S. Sorry for my extended leave!  I’ve been busy with some changes that you’ll see soon.  It’s so great to be back!

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