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Business blogs: Fad or long term communications tool

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Business blogs are often referred to as being a fad. You know the line. It usually includes terms like “fad”, “personal diary”, “self important”, and of course “waste of time and resources”.

Variations on those themes appear all of the time in print, online, and broadcast media. You will also hear them quite frequently in personal or daily business conversations. Can a blog really be compared to that very famous fad, the hula hoop?

The questions usually revolve around the blogging content, the blog value in the near and long term, and the overall staying power of blogs. These are legitimate questions, and indeed, they deserve answers. If we business bloggers are serious about speading the word about the value of blogs to companies of all sizes, we must consider the objections.

First of all, business blogs as a marketing and public relations communications tool are still in their relative infancy. The number of blogging businesses is still very small. The number is so low that a new corporate blog still makes the news for its alleged innovative aspect. If that’s the case, then blogs still have a long way to go to entirely permeate mainstream business and media thinking.

My good friend John Jantsch (pictured left) of Duct Tape Marketing considers the possibility that while blogs may have had a “fad” period, that time has already passed into history.

John Jantsch says this about business blogging as a fad:

Blogging as a business fad seems to be passing – and that’s a good thing.

Now maybe people will settle down and look at a blog, at using a blog for business, for what it is. Just another, albeit powerful, marketing tool.

Yes, every business needs a blog, not so they can say they have one, so they can finally say something because they have one. Now I’m not saying that you can’t have open and transparent conversations with your clients and prospects through other means, I’m just saying that people don’t.

As John says, blogs are being recognized for their value as marketing and public relations tools. As a communications medium for sharing the company’s ideas and vision, a blog is a very powerful tool. Along with company specific data and facts, a blog also provides general information on the industry, other knowledge sources, and product use assistance. The concepts provided by a business blog are limited only by the writer’s imagination.

Blogs definitely have the potential to grow as a information sharing tool. They are informal in tone, introduce a real person instead of the cliche of the faceless corporation, and are timely in their presentation. The flexibility offered by blogging is one reason that blogs will last in the business tool box.

The blog’s purpose and presentation can be changed over time to reflect new business goals and realities. The very nature of blogs is to evolve to fit new conditions. Unlike the blog, a fad item is fixed at a certain time and place, and lacks the built-in flexibility to develop new uses. The fad never changes from its original purpose, and so it disappears with time.

The next time you are faced with someone stating that a blog is merely some new fad, you can provide an alternative picture. Perhaps you will create a new convert to the field of blogging.

As a blog evangelist, you will have achieved your goal.

Wayne Hurlbert provides insigtful information about marketing, promotions, search engine optimization and public relations for websites and business blogs on the popular Blog Business World.

Check out Blog Business World for yourself.

Business blogs: Fad or long term communications tool
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