Why are blogs such a powerful communications tool in the arsenal of a company? There are lots of reasons, really. But the explanation I’ve used that normally gives those who don’t quite understand blogging have their “ah-ha” moment is a simple one. To understand the power of a blog you have to compare it to something familiar.

Think about your company newsletter. If you’re not that hip to blogging yet, your company newsletter is probably still printed and circulated in everyone’s box in the mailroom. Or maybe it’s mailed to everyone’s house. But in some form or fashion, some printed piece of information is circulated monthly or bi-weekly to everyone in the company. There are pictures of new hires, company softball team news, maybe even some tips and tricks articles for the sales team and a list of birthdays.

English: Bata Shoe Company News Letter: 18th M...

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The problem with that mechanism of communication is that the information has a limited life cycle and, due to costs, the publication has a limited circulation. Only a few people can access it.

With a blog, even if just focused on internal news, everyone, in or out of the company, can access it. There’s less hard cost to produce and adding news or information doesn’t add cost to the project. And the information can be updated on a whim, giving it a forever life cycle. Not to mention, the content can be more easily found thanks to the ubiquitous power of search.

Those reasons alone make a blog a much more powerful communications mechanism — internally or externally — than a company newsletter.

Capitalizing on that same analogy, though, think about how many company newsletters you’ve read that were interesting enough to want to read again.

It’s a comparable medium, but not the same. With more power, comes more responsibility.

It’s time companies grasped that and made their new newsletter, in whatever form, worth reading.

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://twitter.com/jmctigue John McTigue

    And also, unlike a newsletter, a blog can have a personal spin – like the experiences of your CEO in raising money or how programmer deals with nasty bug fixes. That mix of personal and official corporate can be a real hook for both insiders and outsiders.

  • http://www.webpartnergroup.com/ Website Design

    So true. People often underestimate what a blog can accomplish for the company.

  • http://www.webpartnergroup.com/ Website Design

    So true. People often underestimate what a blog can accomplish for the company.

  • http://www.webpartnergroup.com/ Website Design

    So true. People often underestimate what a blog can accomplish for the company.

  • http://www.webpartnergroup.com/ Website Design

    So true. People often underestimate what a blog can accomplish for the company.

  • http://www.bigchiefcreative.com/ Alex R.

    Totally agree. A blog can be used to spread internal information but everyone, in or out of the company, can access it. I feel like readers like the internal posts because it shows character and an insite to the company.

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  • http://www.fit4kitchens.co.uk/ kitchen accessories

    A blog is the best way by far to showcase your enthusiasm and knowledge for what it is you do! I think it can aslo be a good tool to communicate with customers.

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  • http://www.highonphp.com/ sixeightzero

    I definitely agree, although its a lot more difficult than most think. The successful implementation of a blog requires precise selection of words. The topics are not so important as if the customer is already on your site, they know what they are looking for…

  • Eric T.

    Thanks for this. I have clients, colleagues (and family members) that will benefit from this easy-to-relate approach to the ongoing “why blog” question.

  • http://www.getitwrite.ca/ Sue Horner

    Your bias is showing. Yes, blogs can be a powerful communications tool. But you are skewing the comparison with an outdated description of newsletters to go with the image of one from the 1950s. What newsletter today contains pictures of new hires, company softball team news and a list of birthdays? No wonder you scoff at how many newsletters “were interesting enough to want to read again.”

    Today’s publications shine a spotlight on employee innovations and ingenuity. They provide the strategy and reasoning behind company decisions. They explain how employees can support best practices and show how they are providing solid customer service.

    In the comments, John mentions that “unlike a newsletter, a blog can have a personal spin.” Actually, that *is* like a newsletter. It’s a perfect place to include the experiences of the CEO (or better yet, people lower down the pecking order) in raising money.

    It’s not an either/or choice. I see a blog as a nice complement to an interesting, well-written newsletter. Make the blog all about current, fast-breaking news, and the newsletter can provide a more in-depth explanation.

    But then, that’s my own bias showing, since I happen to love newsletters!

    • http://socialmediaexplorer.com JasonFalls

      Fair response, Sue. I think your exposure to newsletters may be limited to only good ones (and if you’re responsible for them, kudos!). But like many corporate blogs, many corporate newsletters, just plain suck. It is those I’m speaking to. Certainly a newsletter can be awesome. But those are rare birds.

    • http://www.getitwrite.ca/ Sue Horner

      Oh, sure, there are bad newsletters out there, too, and bad blogs. There’s work to be done all around.

      By the way, apologies for coming late to the party!  I had seen the post much earlier, but when I came back to comment, couldn’t find it using “newsletters” as the search term. It stuck in my mind, though, so I tried again with “blogs” and “powerful communications.” Bingo!

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