Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Business case for blogging

The CEO of a third sector organisation asked me last week how we could justify the time spent on his blog (about one hour a day).

So, in two parts, here is the business case for blogging for busy third sector CEOs. We start with the business benefits and tomorrow will look at the financial cost.

Get an audience for your latest activities
Few organisations have a page of press releases that a search engine visits each day. Therefore, it could be as much as a week before your latest report/research/campaign gets noticed online. An effective blog will be noticed daily, giving you an online platform for your latest activities to be noticed.

Change perceptions of your organisation/campaign/constituents
A blog can provide a means to change perceptions by engaging with your audience frequently and over a sustained period. It could be older people communicating young people that they have a valuable contribution to make (or vice versa). Or people with disabilities making their experiences more real. Or an international charity taking big stories and humanising them. The nature of the platform provides a unique opportunity to challenge perceptions and the means to measure your success.

Lobby for change
The art of good blogging is being part of a network of blogs. You can use your blog to lobby for change and create alliances of other bloggers who support the same issue. You can also target your campaigns at political bloggers with high influence.

Engage your key stakeholders
A blog can engage with your key stakeholders in a more meaningful and frequent way than any other form of communication. Whether explaining your activities to donors, raising awareness, campaigning for change, a blog gives you a platform to talk regularly with your more important stakeholders.

Demonstrate your expertise

If you want to establish yourself as a media commentator on a particular issue, a blog is a good place to start. You can rehearse your key arguments, establish your credibility and gain a profile for your views on a particular subject. And if your organisation has a back-catalogue of research its a good way of getting fresh attention for old work.

Engage with journalists and commentators
So many journalists and commentators blog that it's critically important that you do too. Your blog can provide them with new content but also just remind them of your organisation and what you are saying. Social networks are also a useful too for this.

Deliver excellent return on investment
We will look at the numbers tomorrow but blogs are the most cost effective, easiest way to communicate with a large audience frequently.

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