Blogging

Corporate Bloggers and Hiring Hangups

Sunday night’s Blogchat focused on companies hiring bloggers for their social media outreach and bloggers who wanted to be hired.

I caused what felt like a mini-controversy when I tried to inject what I thought was a small dose of reality into the conversation.

I blog for the television station I work for. It’s a nice little extra I do, but I’m not paid to do it. They like it when I do it, and I enjoy doing it, so I do. When there’s no time to blog, which is most of the time, they don’t complain that the blog hasn’t been updated in a week or two.

They understand, after all, that I have higher-priority items on my list, for which I am paid.

The solution many would immediately suggest is this: hire a blogger.

Great idea.

Except we have this little snag called a recession. Or a slow economy. Or a financial crisis. Whatever you want to call it, there it is.

A lot of companies don’t have the resources to go out and hire a blogger. I tried pointing that out.

Then the conversation headed towards editors. In addition to hiring a good blogger, the company also needs a good editor to edit what the blogger has to say.

Well, sure. Of course.

If we’re still in this perfect world scenario. But we aren’t.

Companies that have difficulty understanding that a paid blogger position might help them connect with customers better certainly aren’t going to understand why they now need to hire two positions instead of one.

And I can promise you, because I work in a business that has been hit hard by the economy, that the first thought a company will have when someone suggests that they need to hire an editor to copyedit the blogger is this: hire a better blogger.

Someone in Blogchat told me that two sets of eyes are better.

Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more.

But a company can disagree, especially when they’re paying the salaries.

And until more companies understand the importance of social media, blogging and other non-traditional ways of reaching out to customers, particularly a new generation of customers who prefer that kind of interaction, companies will continue to disagree.

9 Comments

  1. @patricksplace Ah. Gotcha. And I also think that Facebook is easier to start with, so it may help them get their social media feet wet and feel more confident when it’s time to launch a blog. Good point.

  2. @JudyDunn I agree with you. I was just thinking that businesses who are expecting a big response right from the beginning might be happier with the kind of response they’d get on a Facebook fan page initially. If you’re looking for a ROI with a blog from a business point of view, you have to be willing to accept that blogs may not have the initial immediate response that a Facebook page MIGHT.

    I wouldn’t recommend going with just social media networks, either. But perhaps if you can establish a presence there, you’d have an even better marketing platform for your blog. (You might be able to engage topics of interest there so you can start your blog with a bigger bang.)

    Just a thought.

  3. @patricksplace You know, I’ve gone back and forth a little on this, but I’ve come to realize that my blog needs to be my home base, my hub. I work with authors quite a bit and it’s been difficult convincing them (of all people) that they need that blog first and foremost. And a SELF-HOSTED blog, in their own space so they control it (along with access to their list of subscribers). So if Facebook or Twitter die, or they accuse them of violating their Terms of Service and shut down your account, you still have a way to reach your peeps. So promote outward from your blog, but keep it as the home base of operations. I don’t advise a blog only, but neither do i recommend just the other social networks.

  4. @JudyDunn Thanks, Judy.

    Yes, Blogchat can be maddening in its pace. I use TweetChat to monitor the conversation AND I have my Twitter profile open with the “Mentions” tab selected so that I won’t miss specific mentions, questions or comments to something I’ve said.

    And I STILL miss a lot of what’s going on. There has to be a better way, and maybe some day we’ll find it!

    As to corporate blogs, I agree with you: many do see blogs as fluff. Maybe one solution is to reach out to them as social media: build their Facebook and Twitter FIRST, and THEN worry about blogs. I don’t mean to say that blogs are dying, though some might be happy to go that route; but Facebook and Twitter may get responses faster, to demonstrate to the company that there IS an audience out there. And Twitter and Facebook can help bring traffic to the blog once it’s started.

    My real concern is for people who want to blog only: blogs are notorious for not getting the kind of response the blogger would like. Add a business concern into that mix who is watching the checkbook, and a low initial response rate could do much more harm than good in building up the importance of blogs.

  5. Patrick,

    The only thing that drives me nuts about Blogchat is that I can’t dive into an intense, lively discussion and really explore the issue at hand. Sometimes it’s a roaring stream of sound bites and I don’t work and think that way. The issue you are posting about here—corporations springing loose dollars to hire professional bloggers with amazing content skills— would be a rich topic to explore in the right setting. How do I feel? Right now I think many companies still see blogs as “fluff.” As extra pieces that would be nice if they could afford them. (And sometimes I think it’s because they not only don’t realize their value, but they have no strategy or goal for them.) Great topic here.

  6. Ah, the old social media and reality question, Patrick. 😉

    It’s true, though, and your points are solid. We don’t live in an ideal world and we probably never will. Some folks understand this; some folks continue to look through unicorn-tainted lenses.

    Unfortunately, unicorns don’t pay the bills, nor do they allocate funding and resources.

    Thankfully, smart businesses have folks like you that see the difference between realism and idealism.

    Cheers!

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.