Northwestern University and Backbone Media have created a white paper, the goal of which was to “determine the reasons, conditions and factors that make a blog successful, and to create a list of criteria to help companies assess whether and how they should engage in blogging.”
They used a term I really appreciate when it comes to business blogging, “strategic planning.” The study says, “A number of the corporate bloggers thought that without a reason to blog, it is not a good idea just to start blogging. They felt it was important to develop blogging goals in advance. There has to be some reason as to why a company should blog.” I couldn’t agree more.
In the end, they determined there were five critical factors to a successful company blog. They are:
- Culture – I assume by that they mean the company culture
- Entertaining writing style and personalization
I note that several acquaintances of mine were included in the study…Christine Halverson of Stonyfield Farms, Shawn Lea of the Mississippi Hospital Association, PR blogger Jeremy Pepper, and Zane Safrit, CEO of Conference Calls Unlimited. If that group represents the caliber of those interviewed across the board, I’d say the paper is well worth reading. In fact, if you’d like, you can download the success study white paper in PDF form.