Chip Shots by Chip Griffin

Corporate vs. Personal Blog

We’ve been having an interesting discussion of late at CustomScoop.  Essentially, it boils down to the question how the corporate blog should be deployed.  We all agree that the usual product announcement/service interruption type blog isn’t really our cup of tea.  We’d like to have something with a greater degree of insight and relevance to customers and prospects alike.

Obviously, I blog regularly here in my own space.  And some on my team point out that what I write about frequently would prove relevant and interesting to our target audience.  My point of view has been that I like to write about things that are both of interest to that audience, as well as things that have more of an appeal to fellow entrepreneurs.  And in some cases, the two overlap, while in others they don’t. 

Our EVP feels strongly that it is impossible to separate the CEO from the company and that there should really be but one blog, not my personal one and a corporate one.  While I don’t disagree that the actions and words of the CEO are difficult to separate from the company as a whole, I do believe in having a personal professional blog and a separate company one. 

While I have and will continue to post on the CustomScoop blog, I would love to see it as a forum where the other smart people and great writers on our team can have the opportunity to share some of their wisdom.  I’m not sure whether we have others with the desire or motivation to sustain a professional blog on their own, but I am confident that as a team there is the skill and insight available to fuel the company blog.

But this is certainly an interesting question and somewhat of a challenge.  Sorting it out is something that many companies do in different ways.

Surveying the blogosphere in a highly informal way (OK, I just browsed through some of the feeds I read regularly), I tried to see how others handle it.  In the examples that follow, many are senior execs but few are CEO/partner level (though usually one of the major “public faces” of the company in the blogosphere nonetheless).

Richard Edelman has a company-branded blog, though it isn’t the official company blog per se.  Rather Edelman aggregates blog posts from employees, including Steve Rubel who continues to post on his unbranded personal blog MicroPersuasion, which he successfully built before joining the national agency.

Jim Nail, CMO of Cymfony, blogs directly at the company blog.  To the best of my knowledge he doesn’t have another outlet for his professional thinking nor does the blog seem to have any other contributors of late. 

Fred Wilson, one of the partners in Union Square Ventures, blogs primarily at his well-established A VC blog, though he also contributes to the group blog that the firm keeps. (And the group blog is actually the firm’s web site as well.)

Jonathan Carson of Nielsen Buzzmetrics makes his online home as the sole author of their company blog, although CMO Pete Blackshaw is probably better known for his blog

TailRank has a corporate blog that focuses directly on the company itself, while founder Kevin Burton uses his own blog to speak to broader industry issues.

So the bottom line seems to be that everyone does it their own way.  We’re likely to stick with the concept of a team blog for CustomScoop while I continue here at Pardon the Disruption as well.  But only time will tell — and the beauty of the Internet is it is fairly easy to make midcourse corrections.

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