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7 Types of Blogs: Which One is Right For Your Company?
By: Jeannine Wheeler
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Is your company or organization thinking of starting a blog? The work is hard, the pace is relentless, and the pitfalls are many; but the rewards are great. Once committed to the challenge, however, what kind of blog is best to ensure success? According to best-selling author, speaker, and online marketing consultant Paul Gillin, there are seven types of blog — with each having a fit and purpose that depends on goals and resources.

Seven Types of Blog

CEO blog – Perfect for the chief executive who has the desire and discipline to maintain a personal blog. Very few have the time or the inclination, but a few of the noteworthy include Virgin’s Richard Branson, GoDaddy’s Bob Parsons, and Marriott International’s Bill Marriott. Most importantly, it should be from the heart, have the right tone, and include compelling images and videos.

Executive blog – This showcases a talent pool of company executives and senior managers who have the will and time to write regularly. Many may need coaching and editing assistance to make sure they get their points across and are not too heavy-handed, but it is important to let their personalities shine through. Look out for overly salesy pitches. Good examples include PriceWaterhouseCoopers UKHewlett-PackardOracle Corp, and PR firm Edelman.

Group blog – This is an increasingly popular format because it’s easy to maintain and offers great variety. A select team of employees contributes to the site on a rotating basis. Popular group blogs include Nuts about Southwestthe Google blog, and the Chrysler blog. They do require a lot of internal communication, however, but can pay off enormously, as long as all involved understand the objective, editorial profile, and desired voice.

Company blog platform – There are a few companies that encourage employees to maintain their own blogs on a company-branded site. These may be just a few high-profile individuals, or the platforms may be thrown open to everyone (Microsoft’s Firehose). Although this is a great way to put people who make and sell products directly in touch with their consumers, it offers little control and can be hard to monitor. Using a good set of policies and guidelines can help.

Topical blog – A topical blog connects with customers about topics that are mutually interesting. Its purpose is to offer practical information that helps readers be more successful and productive, thereby associating the sponsor with that expertise. Examples include Extended Stay Hotels’ Road Warrior Tips, and Stacks’ Clutter Control Freak. They can also cover news.

Advocacy blog – This is a relatively little-used format that addresses specific public policy or legislative agendas. It’s most effective when the topic is controversial or the company wants to be a thought leader or activist. Examples include the McDonalds’s Corporate Responsibility blog and the National Association of Manufacturers ShopFloor blog. These blogs can gain significant visibility with the media, legislators, or other interested stakeholders. However, these blogs will attract opposite views as well, and can be widely open to criticism.

Promotional blog – We all know this, but blogs should not be overly promotional. However, there is a crossbreed, where you can present a cross between useful content and blatant marketing. Just be sure to inform, entertain, and sell, which can be a successful combination. The BlogHer conference blog is a good example.

For more information on blogging and all social marketing, check out Gillin’s book Secrets of Social Media Marketing.

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About the Author
Jeannine Wheeler is a PR Director who has worked in three countries, including Russia, the US and the UK. She is currently Sr. Vice President of Pure Energy PR, a full-service boutique communications firm with a focus on the energy, healthcare, technology, construction, real estate & land development, tourism & hospitality and food & beverage industries. Jeannine is in the firm's Austin, Texas office.
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