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Business Blogging: Hills to Climb in Europe

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Over half of the business executives in The Netherlands and Germany find blogging a mystery; and, although French executives are au fait,’ few of them are bloggers.

These are among the findings from the latest UPS Europe Business Monitor survey of 1,500 business leaders from Europe’s top 15,000 companies by revenue, carried out by UPS between September and November 2005. Countries in the survey were Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and the UK. The results were published at the end of February.

The survey reports wide-ranging findings on the business climate across Europe and economic and employment forecasts for European companies, as well as global economic and political concerns.

It includes some very interesting results related to how European business leaders find and consume news and information, and their awareness levels and usage of social media like blogs.

Newspapers are still the primary source of information for Europe’s business leaders, the survey says, although fewer now bury their heads in the papers to get business information than the last time executives were asked, in 1999. Almost equal numbers in the UK power-up their computers and browse online as read the papers, while executives in Germany and Italy still rely heavily on the printed word. Few senior executives turn on their televisions or radios to learn about business:

However, the survey shows, no matter where business leaders are looking to get informed, very few have got up to speed with blogging. Many of Europe’s boardroom members are in the dark about blogging, the survey says, and even those who are aware have still not caught the wave:

This graph reveals some highly signficant data about the average overall awareness and usage levels of blogs by senior executives across Europe:

  • Heard of blogs but I don’t read or contribute to them: 42%
  • Not something I’m aware of: 37%
  • I read blogs: 11%
  • We monitor blogs about our company: 7%
  • Useful source of information about our business: 7%
  • I write blogs: 2%

There are some surprising variances between different countries.

For instance, anecdotal evidence says that France is at the forefront of business blogging in Europe yet this survey doesn’t entirely reflect that view – only 3% of French executives see blogs as a useful source of information about their business compared to 11% in the UK and Spain.

On the other hand, only 16% of French executives said they weren’t aware of blogs compared to 31% in the UK, 48% in Belgium and 57% in Germany.

Clearly there are still big hills to climb in Europe in raising awareness of blogs among the senior executive audience and illustrating their relevance and benefits from the business perspective.

(Via Reputation Watch)

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Neville Hobson is the author of the popular NevilleHobson.com blog which focuses on business communication and technology.

Neville is currentlly the VP of New Marketing at Crayon. Visit Neville Hobson’s blog: NevilleHobson.com.

Business Blogging: Hills to Climb in Europe
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