Corporate Blogs: How’s Your Elevator Pitch These Days?

You've just closed the elevator door, and the CMO asks you "What's so
great about this blogging thing?" Obviously, it's a pretty broad topic — but you only have 10 floors to the lobby.

What do you want him to
remember when the door opens?

You could imagine this to be a short trip or a longer trip, depending on the elevator speed, and how comfortable you are with the topic.

Blogs have been around a long time, and they certainly have evolved. They are the most time- and effort-intensive for companies that are still very much strapped for resources and want fast results.

So I thought we should explore what an elevator pitch would look like with some of the individuals who have had those conversations with CMOs in close quarters.

In the order received.


Tamar_headshot-NEW Here's why corporate blogs rock:

1. They give you great traffic.
Jason Falls explains this in a case study he featured
that shows that a LOT of visits to a specific corporate blog came via

2. They humanize your business. Want your business to appear more
approachable? Don't write in the traditional press releases of old.
Blogs are intended to be a little more personable. Done well, blogs have
the amazing potential to connect customers and prospects with a
business that shows that they care about their community.

Tamar Weinberg, social media consultant, author, The New Community Rules (Amazon affiliate link), Techipedia, @tamar


2009_DebbieWeil_032 Corporate blogging is the human voice of the company. Consumers
are yearning for that as a way to connect.

Corporate-speak doesn't work

Debbie Weil, corporate social media
consultant and author of The Corporate Blogging Book 2010 update edition (Amazon affiliate link), @DebbieWeil


Small_jp Look, blogging is just a tool, it's not a strategy.  That said, it may
be the most powerful publishing tool to communicate regularly with your
customers and prospects.  Smart blogging gets you found in search
engines, can be the backbone of your social media strategy and may even
help your employee motivation and turnover issues.

While all that is true, the big issue is that it means
something to have a blog.  It's hard to seriously present yourself as a
thought leader without a blog.  

Finally, the
only thing worse than not having a blog is having one that doesn't add
to the conversation (just sells) and having one that is never updated.
So, absolutely don't start a blog if you aren't going to seriously put
some resources behind it.

Joe Pulizzi, Chief Content Officer, Junta42,
author, Get Content, Get Customers (Amazon affiliate link), @juntajoe


Mitch_320x240 Real interactions with real human beings. Blogs
allow you to speak and create content in a human voice and drive it
home through conversation. Most brands are looking for a semblance of
community development in their marketing mix, well there is no
community without a conversation first and a corporate Blog is a great
way to highlight that voice, your originality and the people you work
with and for.

Mitch Joel, President, Twist
, author, Six Pixels of Separation (Amazon affiliate link), @MitchJoel


Jay Baer You know all the things we take for granted here? Our processes and ways
of doing things? It all seems routine and boring to us, but customers
now want to see the sausage being made. They're fascinated not by what
we do, but by HOW we do it. Blogging is like Nintendo Wii. Our customers
can see what goes on here, and be entertained and informed, and they
can also interact with us at the same time.

Also, every bit of writing,
every photo, and every video we add to the blog will be found by search
engines, and will bring more visitors to our Web site forever, like an
information annuity. And it costs almost nothing, except for our time. 

Jay Baer, social media strategist, author, Convince and Convert, @JayBaer


Stingray_phone You may have heard about this blogging thing. It has enabled
giant companies to humanize themselves, connect with consumers and
stakeholders, revitalize their customer service practice, create their
own news
channels and respond to crises on their own turf. It has risks, sure.
are humans, and employees could post misguided, inflammatory or just
stupid things on a corporate social media channel.

But now that the
social movement
has humanized companies, 93 percent of social users expect a company to
have a
presence in social media (Cone, September ’08). While the ROI may seem
squishy, the opportunity cost of not participating in a conversation
happening about your brand clearly outweighs the risk.

And while you may
tempted to ghostwrite or outsource your corporate blogs and social
profiles to just to do “something,” I implore you to keep things
genuine, internal and authentic. That’s what being human is all about.

 Greg Swan, social marketing strategist, Weber Shandwick, author, Perfect Porridge, @GregSwan


Brian solis Forget the elevator, here's the escalator pitch…

are a repository for the mission and vision of your company.  It is the
place where thought leadership, expertise, passion, and differentiation
can transcend bias to inspire those seeking insight, direction, and

It's not what we say about us that counts as much as what
people hear and in turn say about us. Let's give them something to talk

Brian Solis, principal, Future Works, author, Engage (Amazon affiliate link), @BrianSolis


Shannon Paul Blogging is the best way to widen the outer perimeter of the sales
funnel with a growing segment of the population that gets most of its
information online. If executed well, blogging helps us become a trusted
resource to a whole host of individuals who may or may not be ready to
make the leap to becoming a customer or brand advocate.

impressions, blogging empowers us to leap into the realm of interaction
with potential customers so that when they begin shopping for what we
have to offer, or move naturally down into the "prospect" zone of the
sales funnel and adopt a purchase mindset, they have already accumulated
a number of positive experiences with our brand and its

Shannon Paul, Social Media Manager at Blue Cross Blue Shield of
author, Very Official Blog, @ShannonPaul


Deirdre_Headshot_FPRA_cropped Blogging is one of the best ways for your customers to get to know your
brand on the inside. It's a great opportunity to engage with them to
build a stronger community, to exhibit thought leadership, and to offer
customer relations, through direct and open communication. 

allows the people inside of the corporate walls to show their human side
and to use their own unique voices.  When customers interact with the
people in your company they may feel closer to your brand, just by the
nature of the conversations and for the meaningful information they

Deirdre Breakenridge, President, Mango! Creative Juice, co-author, Putting the Public Back in Public Relations (Amazon affiliate link), @dbreakenridge


Blogging requires stamina, passion for a topic, the ability to write well and to see opportunities beyond a company product or service — for example, helping solve industry problems — and time. In a corporate setting, it also needs support from the organization, both culturally, and physically. Half of the battle is often selling the value of it.

Thanks especially to the group who made time on a holiday weekend so you could have some thought starters for your CMO. How's your elevator pitch about blogs these days?

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0 responses to “Corporate Blogs: How’s Your Elevator Pitch These Days?”

  1. Blogs bring three things to mind; getting to know us, getting found, and getting shared.
    1. The blog is the place where customers (and future customers) can get to know us. It is our platform for putting a personality to our business, expressing thought leadership and generally providing helpful, useful information to the people we care about.
    2. The blog helps make it easier for us to get found in search engines. Google is placing a premium on timely, original content. The blog is our platform for doing that.
    3. The blog make it easier for information about us (our content) to get shared on the social web. Our blog has multiple subscription options as well as many ways for our readers to share the information they like – via email, Twitter, Facebook etc.
    I know you are busy, so just remember, the blog has three benefits; getting to know us, getting found, and getting our content shared.

  2. You ask for brevity and you use Brian Solis as an example..? 😉
    Think of the blog as your boardroom – it’s your idea zone, where the future of our company is built from. But this time, you’re getting the best feedback – that of our customers – as opposed to those that might just want to keep their jobs.
    Besides, (insert your competitors here) doesn’t have a blog. Now you can get feedback from *their* customers too…

  3. While all these answers are true, I find it rather surprising that there is so little focus on what I think is one of the most valuable parts of having a blog, or in fact any social presence at all:
    What the people reading can tell YOU about yourself.
    It’s all well and good to show how the sausages are made, but the real value there is to hear people say that they wish you had a sausage with lamb instead of pork, or share a recipe they concocted with your sausage that lead others to pick some up to try it out.
    True thought leadership comes from learning from your readers, and demonstrating that you’re really listening. And isn’t that the biggest opportunity of all?

  4. I think the biggest takeaways are the fact that blogging establishes credibility and humanizes large corporations. With more emphasis on transparency these days, blogging is a great way to increase that transparency

  5. I just wrote a post about this on my internal corporate blog. My top five reasons:
    1. Google is a news source.
    2. People interact with people
    3. Fresh content draws in repeat visitors.
    4. Blog categories help readers feel in control.
    5. We all have knowledge to share.

  6. Jeremy Meyers makes an important point that may be assumed: a blog lets you listen to your audience and get immediate feedback on your ideas or any services or products you offer.
    Silence may not indicate that you have no readers, but it can tell you that those readers are not truly engaged. It’s a great motivator to work harder and better at what you do.

  7. @DannyBrown, Snerk. Shortest thing I think I’ve ever read by @BrianSolis, though he makes a good point about the elevator or escalator pitch.
    @JeremyMeyers Listening post, so true. The blog is that opportunity to tell your story, the ones people want to read, hear and share. You don’t have to wait for a press release to be picked up. Plus you’ll get their feedback and input, learn what they think of you, how they use your products and services.
    Back to Brian’s comment: Say you got a fish on the line with the short elevator pitch? The blog is your longer escalator pitch, it’s how you reel ’em in. FWIW.

  8. If a CMO asked me “What’s so great about this blogging thing,” I’d want him to remember the day a complete stranger mercilessly browbeat him in an elevator.
    Well, only if he was all smug about it. If he was genuinely curious, I’d probably offer to buy lunch or coffee and blow his mind with a refresher course on socializing and common sense.
    I don’t like elevator pitches so much. There’s little room for a proper windup. Much more invigorating to take the stairs.

  9. @Jeremy – you are one organized elevator pitch giver. Kudos to you for opening with here’s what I’m going to say, saying it, and closing with here’s what I just said. A classic in communications.
    @Danny – you’ve got a point there about Brian. He and I tend to write in long form. I do like your focus on customers. I’m rather biased that way myself.
    @Jeremy – indeed, that has been one of my main learnings here. Although you do need to take things with a healthy grain of salt. Sometimes, especially in B2B, it’s not as simple as put the lamb in.
    @Drew – your comment reminds me that it’s been a while since we had a conversation about transparency. Good thinking.
    @Alison – I love how many of your points put people at the center. A hard nut to crack in many organizations where the top echelons are used to hiding behind the corporate mark.
    @Lisa – it also lets you skillfully organize ways to share messages with your own organization, when it doesn’t want to hear them from its employees. The feedback I received about silence on some of my posts is that I’m too damn smart and intimidating, like the Ph.D. of blogging 😉 Point well taken though. The fact that I get that feedback means I am accessible and willing to listen. Progress.
    @Davina – well done! I really do like how many of you are engaging with each other. And I love the escalator analogy, although do think Brian here has an excellent alternative to it: stairs.
    @Brian – in all the years I worked in corporate buildings, I always took the stairs; firth, fourth, second floor, at least twice a day, if not more. And I met more interesting people that way. Let’s assume the CMO was not smug, and he was interested and curious, for his/her own sake.

  10. I like all the comments that say a blog humanizes the corporation (assuming it is not written like every post has been through 20,000 meetings, PR, and legal, and with some bland final product).
    I was shopping at a clothing place today. Engaging in a conversation with a very young sales associate, we briefly talked about the corporate blog for the clothing business. The words out of her mouth say it all: “I love our blog -I can see that the woman who designs our bras runs on her lunch hour.”
    That’s human!

  11. Melody –
    Perfect story on how an internal blog draws a business first community, its employees, together. It seems like it would be such a great place to start… and yet so many organizations overlook those relationships as valuable.

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