Saturday, January 07, 2006

business blogs help reputation says sun

Sun Microsystems says blogging helped rebuild its reputation. Transparency, says Jay.

Interviewed at the Syndicate conference, Jonathan Schwartz, President and COO of Sun Microsystems said that blogging had played a major role in the revitalization of Sun's reputation. Like many other tech companies, Sun felt the backlash of the dot-com crash and has only recently started to recover.

"Imagine a company that had e-mail the day it started 24 years ago. When blogs took off, there was never a discussion of whether we should do this ... just how," Schwartz said.

Blogging allows you to look into a company, meet its people and see how it functions. It puts a human face on the corporation and makes it real. Schwartz said that this window into the company and the direct interaction with its employees is what builds the trust factor. And he emphasized that authenticity and transparency are keys to blogging success.

Sun has gone from the 99th to the 6th most popular server company, largely because it has embraced authenticity and transparency in its communication initiatives. “Companies that fight transparency will confront a competitive deficit,” said Schwartz.

“We've moved from the information age to the participation age, and trust is the currency of the participation age”, he said. “Companies need to speak with one voice and be authentic. Blogging allows you to speak out authentically on your own behalf, and in the long run people will recognize that. Do it consistently and they trust you.”

Blogging done right can be a positive force in building and maintaining a reputation in today’s competitive marketplace. But it has to be done in the spirit of open communication and with a willingness to let go of the “corporate message.”


* Increases search engine visibility and thus brand awareness
* Offers a direct communication channel to the public
* Builds credibility and trust
* Allows you to tell your story, uncensored by the media
* Makes your organization more “real” to the public


Take a look at the culture of your organization:

* Can you let go of the controlled ‘messaging’?
* Are you willing to be authentic and transparent?
* Do you have the resources – writers, time, budget - to create the content for a blog that others will find compelling?

If so, it may be time to start thinking about your corporate blogging guidelines.

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