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Bonnie Harris on Traditional versus New Media (part 2)

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Yesterday, I posted the first part of an interview with Bonnie Harris on traditional versus new media. Here’s the rest of that interview – some can’t miss information about new media in a world that comes from a different perspective. Check out part one before continuing with the rest below:

Allison: What are some of the differences between what most bloggers doing and how corporate blogs should be run?

Bonnie: I see a lot of blogs that look like they’re just hobbies of someone at the company. They don’t seem to have a strong mission, voice or purpose. Maybe someone likes to write and this is an outlet for that…that’s fine if there’s time for such an activity. I think, however, that without goals that translate to business goals (more revenue, better customer service, etc), most blogs just die.

I also see new blogs that are much too ambitious in the beginning. Unless you have the budget to do a big blog launch, no one will read it for a while. A couple posts a week by a problogger will work just fine to help build some archived content. Get a rhythm going, and a process, get your writing team and editorial guidelines established. THEN worry about great content, headlines, and search. I think most corporate bloggers do it backwards – they’re all gung ho to write the next Copyblogger when really they need to be managing all the components of a blog. Writing is just one piece of it.

Allison: What tips do you have for working with a team of professions at a company who all have access to the blog and social media accounts?

Bonnie: Again, think of the blog like a project. Have editorial guidelines, a calendar of blog posts, a clear mission and goals, and some frequency/content guidelines as well. You’ll find that some people are much more enthusiastic than others. Try to coach and train those people, and don’t worry so much about the folks that don’t want to contribute often. Blogging and social media aren’t for everyone, and you can’t force it. Having said that, if there are guidelines and a clear process, you’ll have a much easier time than you think.

Allison: For those who are interested in introducing blogging and new media to their managers/bosses/clients, what are some of the recommendations you have for helping them convince these old school marketers to get on board?

First of all, I would hesitate using the term “old school” – I think we need to blend new media and traditional tactics in order to be successful these days. Categorizing something as “old school” once again implies that it’s not as good or not as effective.

I do a lot of pilot, three month projects. Then I knock it out of the park during those three months.  And I ask THEM what goals they would like the blog to achieve…with some coaching from me of course. Maybe it’s more traffic to their product sales page. Perhaps they’d like to recruit influencers in the industry to write on the blog.  Most bloggers don’t do a good job of defining goals from a business standpoint. They don’t have to be aggressive goals, you just need to show progress against them. Again, it’s  about understanding how to justify this activity from a business perspective. Most of the time, I hear the person championing a new blog as saying something like “it’s the new way of marketing” or something vague like that. Those kinds of justifications won’t work with someone who has to manage your time and a budget.

Thank you so much for sharing all this valuable information with us, Bonnie. Readers, remember to check her out at the Wax Marketing blog and find her on Twitter!

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


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