A very important piece of advice when it comes to blogging is to “write like you talk”, as if you were explaining or telling a story to a friend. But when it comes to professional blogging on a company’s behalf, your voice (or any one person’s voice) may not be an accurate representation of what you want your company to sound like. In actuality, your company is not one person, so its voice should encompass the sum of all parts. It should have its own unique identity that has a piece of you but also a piece of the owner, the designers, the developers, etc.
The best way to go about this is to have a company blog with multiple authors. Each author truly representing themselves and what they are experts in. Each voice will be different but true to who they really are. A multi-author blog made up from the “experts” in your company shows each personality individually, which makes up the company’s personality as a whole. This approach also allows you to reach out to different fans who might relate to a particular author or can learn from another. Each niche area speaks differently, and each expert relates to their own community differently.
Take our industry for example, the way one of our developers will lay out a problem and solution is much different than someone in public relations. Stick with what your good at. This will not only create fans from similar industries but it will allow you to prove to your potential customers that you are experts in each of these categories and let them “get to know” your team without having to meet them face-to-face.
Unfortunately, there is never a one-size-fits-all solution. While potentially the most beneficial way of blogging, the multi-author approach might not be ideal for many companies. For smaller companies who are just getting started, a blog can be an important tool to prove the company and its team as thought leaders and reach out to potential customers. However, this is also the busiest time for the members of the company.
“So, where do I find time for this? The ‘experts’ in my company are too busy doing what they do, to write about it.”
This is a very real and frequent dilemma. Often, there is only one person really manning the blog, sometimes this person may even be an intern. The question now becomes, “how do I create a professional voice for our company while still sounding social and interesting?” Think about how you interact with people outside of the office while still representing your company, like at a networking event. How do you sound? Answers will vary, as they should. Each company, just as an individual will has its own personality, you just need to recognize it. A marketing firm will differ from a government agency, which also differs from a manufacturing company.
Do some research. Find out what’s hot right now, what are people talking about and what are people asking about. Draw up an outline and layout the key points you want to answer. You can still utilize the experts within your company and have them be a part of the process by writing up a first draft and sending it their way to review and get their feedback. Encourage them to enter in a paragraph or two if they feel something is missing.
If the original voice sounds “like a 21 year old college girl writing in her journal”, don’t panic, that’s a great place to start because it’s natural. Edit a few keywords to make it more appropriate for your company and your audience, in addition to your added content. Over time you will find less need to change the wording because the writer will become more comfortable, just as each of us have learned the different “voice” we use while having drinks with our buddies compared to having drinks at a business event. It’s still us, just a more refined version. Your blogger will become the voice of your company, you just need to help him/her understand what that is.