Only 81 companies –or 16%-of the Fortune 500 have public-facing blogs, according to a new study from Society for New Communications Research. I found this number astoundingly low and thought it was news release from 2005 that showed up magically high on Google. By the way, this is compared to INC 500 where 39% of companies have external blogs. A wake-up call for Fortune500 marketers
– not just about blogs but the way we need to re-think communications as marketers – myself included. Here is list of Fortune500 business blogson Socialtext.
I by no means think blogs are the answer to all communications or the ultimate format. They certainly have shortcomings, especially if they are used just for PR as many companies use them (a pretty cool take on top 25 reasons blogs suck).
However, blogs are a symbol of the way we are now communicating as human beings in our personal lives that always mesh with our professional roles. And, they are becoming a source of company, market and product information for all of a company’s stakeholders – especially as many people follow blogs like news bulletins via RSS. The web and all its emerging applications – from Blogs to Twitter to LinkedIn - allows customers, prospects, investors, partners and employees to hear directly from your people in new ways. More people of all ages and demographics are using the web, blogs and short form publishing like Twitter to communicate in record numbers around the globe. A perfect opportunity for Fortune 500 companies solicit feedback, listen to their customers and stakeholders to share transparently their point of view.
A few guesses on why Fortune 500 companies are NOT using blogs or short communiqués to solicit feedback and listen to the market and stakeholders?
- Very large companies have less time than emerging companies? No, don’t think so.
- Very large companies have less people than emerging companies? Not by counts from US Labor Department.
- Very large companies have a tougher time get consensus on their message? Yes. Maybe a clue with “message”.
- Very large companies have more don’t ask/don’t tell policies due to bigger liabilities? Yes, likely the biggest clue.
Fair. However, Fortune 500 marketers - and all of us - have to push ourselves on how to unlock better ways to communicate and use the web and its many applications and formats as a platform to listen and communicate. If you are with a Fortune500 company – why are blogs not part of your two-way communications strategy? What’s working? Let’s blog about it!