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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Corporate Blogging Book: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know to Get It Right » User review

How to communicate "the inside story, the pulse, the personality of your company"

  • Jun 7, 2007
Frankly, I am astonished by the rapid growth of blogging and, especially, by the rapidly increasing adoption of blogging as a primary (not exclusive) medium for corporate communications, both internal and external. There are several dozen excellent books now in print that explain this phenomenon (Debbie Weil identifies many of them in her "Recommended Reading" section) and this book is certainly one of them. As I began to read it, I was immediately reminded of an incident decades ago when Vince Lombardi (the new head coach of the Green Bay Packers) met with the team for the first time and announced that he would begin with basics. He held up a leather spheroid and said, "Gentlemen, this is a football." It is widely reported that Max Magee then responded, "Coach, could you please slow down? You're going too fast."

Wisely, Weil assumes that her reader knows nothing about blogging. She begins with the basics. In fact, in the first chapter, she responds to the "Top Twenty Questions About Corporate Blogging." At this point, I presume to add that almost everything she says about corporate blogging is relevant to non-corporate blogging, with the obvious exceptions being information and suggestions with regard to creating an institutional blog mechanism. But even so, such mechanisms seek to attract and involve human beings and must thus be designed and administered with a full accommodation of basics.

With all due respect to the value of the FAQ section, each reader will have other questions and Weill is well aware of that as she begins her narrative with a "quick romp through the corporate blogosphere" (i.e. background and early development), addresses common fears about blogging (e.g. allocation of resources, contingent legal liability, loss of control.... "the mother of all fears"), determination of ROB (i.e. return on blog), tools and technology needed, and "making the case for blogging to the boss." Along the way, Weil includes (in Chapter 7) her "Top Ten Tips to Write an Effective Business Blog." Then in the final chapter, she shares her thoughts about "what's next," followed by a "Bonus Resources" section that, all by itself, is worth much more than the cost of the book. One man's opinion, its value is increased by a factor of at least ten if the material is absorbed and digested within the frame-of-reference established by the ten chapters that precede it. Suggestion: Read the entire book in chapter sequence, highlighting whichever passages catch your eye; then, after reading Chapter 10, set the book aside for a few days before you focus on the "Bonus Resources" section.

Many readers will especially appreciate Weill's provision of summaries of key points made by others such as a list of nine ways to use an internal blog suggested by Shel Holz (Pages 31-32) and the "Thomas Nelson Blogging Guidelines" (Pages 165-168) that, according to Weill, make clear "what the business reason is for encouraging [Nelson] employees to blog: to open the door and offer a peak inside one of the world's largest publishers." There is also an abundance of real-world examples throughout the narrative that illustrate the given key point, be it a "do" or a "don't."

Only after having read and then re-read this book did I conclude that, at least for me, the most valuable material is provided in Chapter 4, "A Baker's Dozen: 12 Plus 1 Ways to Use a Corporate Blog." Once again, as she does in previous and subsequent chapters, Weill inserts a brief and insightful excerpt from another source: Hugh Macleod's response to the question, "What's a Global Microbrand?" By the time the reader has arrived at #13, she or he should not be surprised by Weill's assertion that "blogs are the new corporate Web site" and there are still 140 more pages ahead that offer additional evidence of how effective corporate blogging for all organizations (regardless of size or nature) can help them to increase and enhance relationships between and among all their stakeholders.

Obviously, it remains for corporate bloggers to (a) determine for themselves which of the 13 are most appropriate, (b) cross-rank their importance to achieving the given business objectives, (c) create an electronic infrastructure, and then (d) broaden and deepen internal and/or external participation, with primary emphasis on convenience in terms of both connectivity and interactivity. If asked to select a single source for information and counsel on how to introduce and then sustain effective corporate blogging, my suggestion would beDebbie Weil's book.

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review by . November 09, 2006
Want to use blogging to expand your corporate presence or simply add blogging to your visibility in the marketplace? Debbie Weil has written an easy-to-understand book without jargon yet packed with practical step-by-step advise to guide you through the process of setting up an effective corporate blog. She's included sound research mixed with personal experience.     If you aren't the CEO of your company but believe blogging would be a great tool for the company, Debbie gives …
review by . August 09, 2006
Yes, there's a flood of books on business blogging hitting the market, but each one is different. Debbie Weil's The Corporate Blogging Book is written for the corporate-minded person who isn't sure about the blog thing especially in a business setting.    The book tells it like it is and is exactly what its title says. The book opens with 20 comprehensive questions about corporate blogging to answer the busy executive and manager's immediate questions. Weil spends a full chapter …
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Robert Morris ()
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Professionally, I am an independent management consultant who specializes in accelerated executive development and breakthrough high-impact organizational performance. I also review mostly business books … more
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About this book


With citizen bloggers multiplying by the minute, corporations are keen to co-opt the authenticity of this online publishing phenomenon. But while many already understand the concept (GM's Bob Lutz, who wrote the foreword, is a blogger), many more are struggling to make sense of a fairly simple proposition: use your blog as a meaningful conduit to your customers, and watch them become your best advocates; use it as an outlet for stale press releases, and watch the world yawn or walk away. Weil provides background on blogs, offers tips on writing them ("invite a conversation"), addresses common concerns ("what if my employees are blogging?"), discusses tools and technology (including podcasts and wikis), and offers a cheat sheet for convincing the boss that it's time to blog. Bonus resources include sample policies and guidelines, design tips, a glossary, and more. Short and sweet, this is more enthusiastic and personably written--and includes fewer CYA disclaimers--than Nancy Flynn'sBlog Rules(2006) and is more appropriate for the corporate crowd than Andy Wibbels'Blogwild!(2006).Keir Graff
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ISBN-10: 1591841259
ISBN-13: 978-1591841258
Author: Debbie Weil
Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover

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