Corporate Blogging: Much Ado About Voice
I’ve ghost written for a number of executives and companies, and the issue of voice always comes up – especially for corporate blogs.
I read a great article by Mark Herrmann a few days ago about this (via WSJ). Before he took his current job, as chief litigation counsel Aon, he ran an excellent legal blog, Drug and Device Law Blog, in conjunction with his law practice.
Herrmann emphasized the importance of developing a voice. Focusing on voice over content, however, is among the greatest barrier to progress you can face when trying to get a corporate blog off the ground. Instead, you should focus on information.
Put yourself in your target market’s shoes. Your potential clients are short on time and have an abundance of information sources. What makes them choose you? If you think it’s the voice that comes through on your blog, then you’re making a bet on entertainment value: you’re trying to engage readers through force of personality.
But, what do they need?
Your target market is looking for the insights that can help them perform better in the marketplace. They want to know what’s happening around them and how they can use prevailing conditions to win clients and market share. Deliver this information, along with pertinent advice on how to get ahead, and you’ll attract and retain readers. Soon enough, they will become clients.
The alternative is frightening.
For short pieces, of only a few hundred words, you could spend hours and drafts trying to nail down exactly how a busy executive wants to sound. They soon will become frustrated by a long process for a short article that’s keeping them from “real” work. Too many conflicts like this can mean the end of your corporate blogging initiative.Continued on the next page