This is a GREAT time to kick-off a Blog strategy for the marketing department. From a morale standpoint, if you do it right, a significant and meaningful up-tick in morale is guaranteed, not to mention reinforcing your longer-term marketing strategy…. and for SURE from an ROI standpoint. Given the start-up cost, it’s hard to think of a higher ROI project. Before you read on, perhaps click around in a few examples:

Tangible and intangible wins:

1. Staff can “audition” for a spot on the blog-writing team. You also have roles in blog design, post editing and proofing, multi-media stuff, and marketing (posting comments and track-back links on similar blogs or industry news sites that offer commenting, getting trade mags and sites to host a link, etc.). Thus, many staff members can get involved. Yes, specific education with media tools helps, but most of the tools are easy to learn. If you learned Excel and PPT, you can learn this stuff. Staff engaging in cool new stuff – great for morale.

2. The actual posting process forces the blogger and support team to think about things in new and interesting ways, and how to creatively communicate new thoughts – very energizing and uplifting for morale.

3. Audio and Video is possible as well. A mic for an iPod is cheap and has great results. Audacity is simple for creating good quality MP3′s. Sony Vegas is easy to use for creating multi-media. Podcasts and Vlogs are popular, informational, acceptably informal if necessary, and oh yeah, almost free to publish (not including staff production time of course). Learning is always good for morale.

4. You can also show the human side of the organization to the audience – pictures are very popular, engaging, and people love to see themselves working – guaranteed they’ll send links to posts to associates if they’ve been involved. Feeling valued as Kathie Kinde and others said in the PIMA Linkedin Group is good for morale.

5. Shows the team you’re will to try new things, think out-of-the-box, show thought-leadership – however you want to phrase it. I think you’ll find that it provides a lot of fresh ideas. There’s something about writing and publishing that really clarifies thoughts and stimulates new ideas. Sam Fleet’s (also in the PIMA Group) thoughts as always are right on point – and what better way to communicate early and often – and in a searchable, archivable way.

6. Publicly recognize the efforts of the team or individual accomplishments. Absolutely. Do a blog post when some major event happens – someone wins a personal or professional award, has a life-event, goes on a mission trip, serves in the community, etc. All great blog post opportunities. To Marcia Moore‘s point about leveraging e-newsletters, a blog is a substantial upgrade. Use the e-newsletter to promote the blog.

And oh, btw, from a corporate stand-point, you’ll then be positioned to capitalize on opportunity when the economy turns around…

  • Promote new product launches
  • Respond to economic events
  • Respond to corporate events
  • React to positive or negative customer comments
  • Understand the technology – RSS, Analytics, Search and Social marketing, etc.

Some resources:

Yes, you WILL have to overcome internal obstacles – compliance pushback, corporate branding and marketing, yada-yada-yada. But it’s all do-able.

Happy to help. I’ve got a nice, affordable design, technology, and professional coaching package. Call or write and I’ll send it to you.

Some pictures from last summer… in the Studio creating Vlog #1 with Fred Hron of Forrest T. Jones. Fun!