Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Business vs. Entertainment.

Recently, a reader emailed to ask whether I thought a company blog should exist only to "reinforce the brand" or if it could be a vehicle designed strictly to entertain.

The reader was enountering clients who wanted pure entertainment blog content that was unrelated to their business. The sole relationship to the company would a logo that indicated sponsorship.

Now I happen to think that, going forward, we're going to see sponsored programming become more and more important to brand communications. And I think that straight up boring communications are a waste of time.

But there's a problem if you make a company blog just about entertaining people. It will have to be unbelievably, incredibly, amazingly entertaining. Because there are already countless really entertaining options available to people, both online and offline.

If I thought I could create pure entertainment content on this blog so compelling that people would come back again and again and still want to work with our company, I probably would. But I think accomplishing that in a few minutes every day would be a pretty damn tall order. (In fact, if I had such a talent for entertainment, I would be working in Hollywood and fine tuning my fabulous tan on the deck of my place in Malibu.)

So keep it relevant to a particular topic. Don't make it dull, but don't fool yourself into thinking you've got the skills to be the life of the party day in and day out. Information, transparency, personality — provide these things in a company blog and you'll turn consumers into fans.

For more thoughts on smart business blogging, check out Rick Bruner's thinking. He's been at this longer than I have.


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