Corporate Blog Design: Trends And Examples

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With tens of millions of blogs online today, major corporations have started to recognize the value of a corporate blog for communicating with customers. However, corporate blogging is far different than the more traditional blogging that most of us encounter on a daily basis. Corporate blogging brings its own unique set of challenges and opportunities that must be considered and addressed by the company in order for its users to have a positive experience.

In this article we’ll examine the issues that face corporate blogs, we’ll observe some current trends, and we’ll look at a large sample of blogs from companies of various sizes in a wide variety of industries.

Purposes of Corporate Blogs

Probably the most significant reason for companies to manage a corporate blog is the communication benefits it can provide. As a higher percentage of the population uses the Internet for researching and buying products and services, companies can often benefit from having a more direct line of communication with customers and potential customers.

1. Communication with customers and the public

Hoefler & Frere-Jones Type Foundry Blog1161

While websites in general provide plenty of opportunities for corporate communication, blogs can eliminate barriers and allow a company’s executives or employees to communicate directly with anyone who visits the blog. Those who read the blog will sense a much more personal message in what is generally a more relaxed environment than many other types of corporate communication.

Companies that place a priority on communicating with customers through a blog display a certain openness and responsiveness that today’s consumers appreciate. A blog is able to bring a company and its customers together through the open sharing of ideas, issues, announcements, events and feedback.

2. Demonstration of corporate responsibility

In some cases, corporate blogs are not used to directly promote the products and services of a company, but rather to demonstrate ways in which the company is giving back to the community or to show that the company is conducting its business responsibly. McDonald’s172 effectively uses its blog to do just that.

McDonald's3

Corporate responsibility can also be demonstrated by using blogs as a medium for improving products and services and helping customers get more value out of them. A company that truly promotes open two-way communication through its blog is demonstrating to customers that it is committed to doing everything within its power to provide a quality product.

3. Reputation management

The issue of reputation management continues to grow in importance for businesses both large and small. With technology available that allows anyone to post damaging statements online to be seen by the world, blogs provide companies with a way to prevent problems before they happen or help improve situations when it is too late for prevention.

Because of the level of communication that can take place on a corporate blog, companies have greater control over the messages that the public receives about the company. They can quickly respond to any negative publicity and can help prevent such situations by adopting an open communication strategy that develops the trust of consumers.

4. Promotion of products and services

37signals4

In very few cases, the primary purpose or goal of a corporate blog is to directly sell more products. In most cases, the blog is seen rather as a valuable tool that can indirectly assist the company to achieve more sales, but direct promotion is rarely the priority. However, some companies are able to find creative ways to promote their own products through blogs.

In some examples we’ll see throughout this article, companies are using their blogs to provide information or announcements about products, which of course can be done with the intent to boost sales. Some blogs provide content that shows readers new ways to use products or explains features that might not be commonly known. In other situations, products aren’t even mentioned in many of the blog posts but are most likely linked to in some area of the blog, frequently the sidebar.

5. Provide executives and/or employees the chance to communicate openly

One of the real advantages of a blog to a traditional company website (not to say that a blog should replace a traditional website) is the personal nature in which a writer and reader can communicate and interact. Even readers who do not participate in making comments likely notice that the post was written by an individual, and that individual may be the best way for the reader and potential customer to connect with the company.

Bloggers enjoy sharing their thoughts and information with readers, and readers enjoy being able to connect with the writer of the content. A corporate blog can add personality to the company in the eyes of readers, and employees can benefit by being able to express themselves and share with readers.

Potential Issues for Corporate Blogs

Although blogs provide all kinds of opportunities for companies, there are also several common struggles that can be experienced. In order for a company to have a positive experience with its blog and for the blog to be useful and relevant to readers, the company must consider these issues ahead of time and develop a plan to address and prevent them from happening.

1. Negative comments

While communication is the major benefit of corporate blogs, it can also work the other way. Not all communication that occurs through blogs is positive. The presence of negative comments may not be a big issue on smaller blogs run by individuals, but they can be a problem for corporate blogs. After all, the company’s reputation management isn’t being helped by a blog that includes a lot of negative comments from readers.

In order to avoid potential issues with negative comments, all comments should be moderated for approval before appearing on the blog. This way, unreasonably harsh or profane comments can be deleted without ever being posted to the blog. Some blogs also require users to create an account in order to post a comment.

2. Consistent and frequent posting

Lenovo5

Blogs in general, not just corporate blogs, often suffer from abandonment or long periods of inactivity. While it may be acceptable for an individual to be inconsistent with a blog, corporations could possibly do more harm than good with a blog that doesn’t get much attention. When visitors arrive and see that nothing new has been posted in a long time, it sends the message that the blog is not important to the company and that it doesn’t take this form of communication with customers very seriously.

Corporate blogs have a wide variety of posting schedules. Some are very active, with multiple posts each day, while others have posts much more infrequently. Before launching a blog, or when evaluating an existing one, the company should consider what type of posting schedule would allow for the blog to be used as an effective tool for itself and its customers.

3. Usefulness of posts

Another major issue facing corporate blogs is the challenge of providing interesting content that is useful in some way to readers. Of course, the blog needs to benefit the company in some way as well, so content development can often be a struggle. Although a blog is intended to bring some type of benefit to the company, simply creating posts that promote products or services will draw little interest from readers and will have poor results.

Typical content for corporate blogs includes discussion of issues that are relevant to the company or industry, press releases, information to help readers use the company’s products more effectively, and other specific types of content that appeal to the company’s target market.

When examining various corporate blogs, you will notice a great variety in the types of content being published and their usefulness to readers. Some companies do an excellent job of adding value for readers, while others are little more than another form of advertisement. Not surprisingly, the ones that have creative solutions to this challenge are usually the most effective.

4. Who is going to write the content?

Open Forum6

Although corporate blogs typically include some sort of disclaimer that the information and opinions provided do not necessarily represent those of the company, the reality is that a blog is a direct reflection of the company in the eyes of visitors. Some corporate executives handle blogging responsibilities, but these people are obviously extremely busy with other work, and these blogs are rarely very active.

Most companies have employees who would enjoy being able to share their insights through a blog, but the company has to weigh the pros and cons of doing so. A corporate blog is useless without content, so the company does need to consider who will be responsible for providing it.

5. Promoting open communication without damaging the company

Because of the openness of blogs and because they connect with readers on a personal level, the chance exists that the communication being done through a blog will damage the company. In most cases, companies are careful about who is allowed to publish content, and those individuals may be given restrictions as to what they can say.

Some companies have a corporate culture that is more open and are willing to let employees participate in blogging activities, and other companies are more restrictive. Companies face the challenge of embracing the nature of blogging without also bringing some of the baggage that may come as a result of poor choices.

6. Lack of focus

Simply having a corporate blog isn’t enough. In order to make it effective for the company and for readers, there must be some sort of focus or plan for using the blog to everyone’s benefit. Companies should consider who will be writing the content, how frequently new posts will be published, what types of content will be published and how the content will help the company and readers.

Many corporate blogs suffer from poor direction or a lack of focus. If the blog is nothing more than a place to publish press releases, it is unlikely to ever draw much interest from readers, because it really serves no purpose for them. The most successful corporate blogs have a clear focus, and those involved in running the blog understand how they can help readers and the company through their efforts.

7. Converting traffic into something useful

Blogs may be able to attract visitors and regular readers, but the company still needs to convert that into something of significance. The strategy here depends on the focus and priorities of the blog. If the company’s goal with the blog is strictly to present the company in a positive light and to increase exposure of its actions in the community, then it wouldn’t be necessary to attempt to convert visits to the blog into product sales.

Trends in Corporate Blogs

Like other kinds of blogs, corporate blogs often follow their own unique trends. Of course, this isn’t to say that all corporate blogs have these things in common, but many do.

1. Simple layout, with a lack of visual appeal

Adobe7

Although many companies involved in corporate blogging spend huge sums of money to promote themselves to customers and potential customers, their blog designs are typically very simple. While content is the primary element of a blog, one would think that major companies might not want a blog design that looks so basic.

Going against the trend:

Nike8 is one of the few companies that have put more emphasis on the look of the blog.

Nike9

2. Branding

Best Buy10

Although layouts and designs in corporate blogs are usually unremarkable, most companies clearly attach their business to the blog by branding elements in the design. Most corporate blogs include logos or standard branding that would appear in other places, such as the main portion of a company’s website. Additionally, corporate colors are typically used for the blog design to promote consistency in branding.

3. Multiple authors

Wal-Mart11

Most corporate blogs include a number of different writers who work together as a team to provide content to readers. Because these people typically have jobs outside of running the blog, it’s difficult to get a significant amount of content from one individual. In most cases, if the company wants an active blog that includes regular posts, multiple authors may be a more realistic option.

How blogs handle multiple authors can vary. Many corporate blogs include a small picture of the author in posts, which can help readers connect with the writer — and, as a result, with the company, too. Some companies have different writers who cover different topics on the same blog, and others separate topics into a few different corporate blogs.

4. Networks of blogs

Lenovo12

When companies want to cover a wide variety of content in their blogs and employ many different writers, they will often have a small network of blogs rather than one all-encompassing blog. In these cases, the blogs will be separated according to topic, or sometimes each writer will have his or her own blog. This allows the company to publish more content and be more specific with content so that it can truly be of value to readers — plus, it helps readers get only the content that interests them.

5. Few comments

Although blogging is intended to be two-way communication between companies and readers, many corporate blogs attract very few comments to their posts. This seems to be in part due to the type of content that is presented. Companies that publish typical blog content that isn’t focused on their products or themselves tend to draw more comments than those that publish corporate announcements or posts that are mainly intended to promote a product.

6. No ads except for internal ads

The only ads that are typically found on a corporate blog are for the company’s own products and services. This is not surprising, but it is a drastic difference when compared to blogs in general. Because of the specific purposes and intent of corporate blogs, ad revenue is inconsequential, and ads would be a distraction to readers and a hindrance to the company’s goals for the blog.

Monster uses a large banner ad on its blog for its own services, but no outside advertisements.

Monster13

7. Links to the company’s home page as well as products and services

Every corporate blog will at some point link back at least to the company’s home page, and sometimes to specific products as well. Sidebars in corporate blogs are frequently used to direct visitors to other parts of the company website and provide brief information about products with links to specific pages or sections of the website. Without advertisements in the sidebar, there is plenty of space to do some internal promotion.

8. Separate domains

What's the Diff?14

It’s not uncommon for a corporate blog to be kept on a separate domain than the company’s website. There is a good deal of variety in practices with this, and it certainly isn’t the case with every corporate blog, but many companies have chosen to use a separate domain.

Gallery of Corporate Blogs

Here, we’ll take a look at more than 40 corporate blogs. To start, we’ll point out some that have particular items of interest, and other will simply include links and screenshots.

American Express15
American Express has one of the more impressive corporate blogs. Its blog is part of OpenForum.com and provides information and resources to business owners. The blog at Open Forum is nicely designed and laid out. The sidebar on the left is used to promote some of the company’s products as well as for general navigation. Take a look at the posts and you may recognize some of the writers, including Guy Kawasaki and Seth Godin. With the Open Forum blog, American Express attempts to provide valuable information that will help its target market of small business owners, rather than directly promote its own products.

Amex16

McDonald’s172
McDonald’s Corporate Responsibility Blog provides content exclusively on just that. You won’t find content here about McDonald’s food or current deals, just information on what the company is doing around the world. This blog is a good example of one that has a specific focus and purpose. The design and layout is very simple, but it does include some McDonald’s branding, and it clearly shows visitors that McDonald’s takes corporate responsibility very seriously.

McDonald's18

Best Buy19
Best Buy has a few different blogs. The Holiday Rituals Blog20 provides short posts that give information on specific popular products or recommended Christmas gifts. Because the posts cover specific products, it’s puzzling why the product descriptions are not linked back to the main Best Buy website, where those products can be purchased. Nevertheless, the blog has a nice colorful, winter-inspired design.

Best Buy21

Best Buy also has a blog at AskABlueShirt.net22 that provides information on the upcoming digital TV transition. This blog has a lot of Best Buy branding in the design, including the colors, the logo, and the picture of the worker in the blue Best Buy shirt.

Best Buy23

Nike Basketball24
The Nike Basketball Blog25 obviously places more importance on the look and visual appeal of the website than other blogs. The background is a large image of a basketball court, and a big picture of Kobe Bryant is currently in the header. Each post has its own header image, and some include pictures of NBA players who are sponsored by Nike. The content of the blog is primarily focused on drawing attention to athletes who are affiliated with Nike, which would ultimately lead to more shoe and apparel sales, because the players have a lot of influence on sales.

Nike Basketball26

Wal-Mart27
Wal-Mart’s blog28 is located on a separate domain, and even Wal-Mart’s branding may be missed at first glance. The content is mostly related to information about products that can be bought at Wal-Mart. Unlike Best Buy, Wal-Mart does link to pages on its own main website, and the Sam’s Club website, where specific products can be purchased.

Wal-Mart29

Cisco30
The Cisco blog, The Platform31, is used primarily to publish company news. There are some informational posts that don’t have to do with the company, but most are Cisco-related. The Platform uses a three-column layout that includes common blog elements, such as a tag cloud in the right sidebar.

Cisco32

Dell33
Dell uses several different blogs on various topics. Its blog network’s front page34 includes links to recent posts from across the network.

Dell35

Lenovo36
Like Dell, Lenovo also uses multiple blogs for different topics. Its blog network’s front page37 contains links to all of the various blogs, plus it includes elements typical of traditional blogs, such as a Flickr photostream and recent Delicious bookmarks.

Lenovo38

Possibly of interest to Smashing Magazine readers is Lenovo’s Design Matters39 blog.

Lenovo40

Google41
The official Google blog42 is one of the more well-known corporate blogs. Naturally, Google’s blog is hosted on Blogspot.com.

Google43

Monster44
Monster’s blog45 also has a design that fits well with the design and color scheme of the main website. Most of the content is geared to job searchers and those interested in career-related information. The header of the blog includes a banner ad for Monster’s resume-writing services.

Monster46

Johnson & Johnson47
Johnson & Johnson’s blog, JNJ BTW48, includes a variety of content, including information on health, social action that the company is involved in and even a recent post that is an apology for an advertisement that some people found offensive.

J&J49

Yahoo!50
Yahoo! has several different blogs, including Yodel Anecdotal51, on which Jerry Yang recently posted a copy of an email he sent to all Yahoo! employees about current layoffs. Yodel Anecdotal has a colorful design and includes content relevant to various aspects of Yahoo’s business.

Yahoo52

The Yahoo! Search Blog53 is specifically focused on search-related content.

Yahoo Search54

The Yahoo! Developer Network55 also has its own blog.

Yahoo Developers56

Southwest Airlines57
Southwest tries to distinguish itself as a company that has a more fun and laid-back corporate culture than other major airlines. The Southwest blog58 also takes that approach with its design.

Southwest airlines59

GM60
GM has several blogs for different purposes. Its blog network’s front page61 includes links to the various blogs.

GM62

FastLane63
The GM FastLane Blog64 is dedicated to covering all aspects of GM vehicles. The design uses a bright, colorful background.

GM65

FYI66
The GM FYI Blog67 is for GM news, information and opinions, and it is written by GM employees and others.

GM68

Quicken Loans69
Quicken takes a unique approach with its blog, What’s the Diff?70 Content is rarely relevant to the company itself but is rather diverse, with a lot of different subjects covered. The blog includes some advertisements for Quicken’s mortgages.

Quicken71

Quizzle7372
Quicken also runs the Quizzle7372 blog, which publishes content related to home ownership and money management.

Quizzle74

LinkedIn75
The LinkedIn blog76 has a design that fits well with the rest of the website. The content is focused on providing LinkedIn users with information that can help them get more value out of the main website, which draws more comments than the content on many other corporate blogs. Like some of the other blogs featured here, LinkedIn includes a Flickr photostream.

LinkedIn77

37signals78
The popular blog of 37signals, Signal vs. Noise79, publishes content on “design, business, experience, simplicity, the Web, culture and more.”

37signals80

37signals also has a separate Product Blog81 that focuses on the company and its products.

37signals Products82

Aviary83
Aviary’s blog includes content that is actually relevant and useful to users of its products, rather than just posts about company news and information. The design of the blog features a colorful and attractive header, which is appropriate because the company offers browser-based tools for designers.

Aviary84

Best Western – On the Go with Amy85
On the Go with Amy isn’t a typical corporate blog like many others featured here, but it is affiliated with Best Western. Amy writes about her travels and provides tips to readers for their own travels. The blog uses a fun and colorful design with an illustrated header.

Best western/Amy86

AOL People Connection Blog87

AOL88

The Nokia Blog89

Nokia90

The Nokia Conversations Blog91

Nokia92

Flickr93

Flickr94

Facebook95

Facebook96

Digg97

Digg98

Delta99

Delta100

Kodak101

Kodak102

Boeing103

Boeing104

Sun Microsystems105

Sun106

Novell107

Novell108

BBC109

BBC110

FreshBooks111

fresh112

Marriott113

Marriott114

Hoefler & Frere-Jones Type Foundry Blog115

Hoefler & Frere-Jones Type Foundry Blog1161

GE Global Research117

GE118

Ning119

Ning120

Oracle121

Oracle122

Viddler123

Viddler124

IBM125

IBM126

Toyota127

Toyota128

Additional resources on corporate blogging:

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Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.typography.com/ask/index.php
  2. 2 http://www.crmcdonalds.com/publish/csr/home/_blog.html
  3. 3 http://www.crmcdonalds.com/publish/csr/home/_blog.html
  4. 4 http://productblog.37signals.com/
  5. 5 http://lenovoblogs.com/
  6. 6 http://blogs.openforum.com/
  7. 7 http://blogs.adobe.com/
  8. 8 http://inside.nike.com/blogs/nikebasketball
  9. 9 http://inside.nike.com/blogs/nikebasketball
  10. 10 http://askablueshirt.net/
  11. 11 http://www.checkoutblog.com/
  12. 12 http://lenovoblogs.com/
  13. 13 http://monster.typepad.com/monsterblog/
  14. 14 http://www.whatsthediff.com/
  15. 15 http://blogs.openforum.com/
  16. 16 http://blogs.openforum.com/
  17. 17 http://www.crmcdonalds.com/publish/csr/home/_blog.html
  18. 18 http://www.crmcdonalds.com/publih3h/csr/home/_blog.html
  19. 19 http://askablueshirt.net/
  20. 20 http://www.bestbuyholidayrituals.com/blog/
  21. 21 http://www.bestbuyholidayrituals.com/blog/
  22. 22 http://askablueshirt.net/dtv/
  23. 23 http://askablueshirt.net/dtv/
  24. 24 http://inside.nike.com/blogs/nikebasketball
  25. 25 http://inside.nike.com/blogs/nikebasketball
  26. 26 http://inside.nike.com/blogs/nikebasketball
  27. 27 http://www.checkoutblog.com/
  28. 28 http://www.checkoutblog.com/
  29. 29 http://www.checkoutblog.com/
  30. 30 http://blogs.cisco.com/news
  31. 31 http://blogs.cisco.com/news
  32. 32 http://blogs.cisco.com/news
  33. 33 http://en.community.dell.com/blogs/
  34. 34 http://en.community.dell.com/blogs/
  35. 35 http://en.community.dell.com/blogs/
  36. 36 http://lenovoblogs.com/
  37. 37 http://lenovoblogs.com/
  38. 38 http://lenovoblogs.com/
  39. 39 http://lenovoblogs.com/designmatters/
  40. 40 http://lenovoblogs.com/designmatters/
  41. 41 http://googleblog.blogspot.com/
  42. 42 http://googleblog.blogspot.com/
  43. 43 http://googleblog.blogspot.com/
  44. 44 http://monster.typepad.com/monsterblog/
  45. 45 http://monster.typepad.com/monsterblog/
  46. 46 http://monster.typepad.com/monsterblog/
  47. 47 http://www.jnjbtw.com/
  48. 48 http://www.jnjbtw.com/
  49. 49 http://www.jnjbtw.com/
  50. 50 http://ycorpblog.com/
  51. 51 http://ycorpblog.com/
  52. 52 http://ycorpblog.com/
  53. 53 http://www.ysearchblog.com/
  54. 54 http://www.ysearchblog.com/
  55. 55 http://developer.yahoo.net/blog/
  56. 56 http://developer.yahoo.net/blog/
  57. 57 http://www.blogsouthwest.com/blogsw
  58. 58 http://www.blogsouthwest.com/blogsw
  59. 59 http://www.blogsouthwest.com/blogsw
  60. 60 http://gmblogs.com/
  61. 61 http://gmblogs.com/
  62. 62 http://gmblogs.com/
  63. 63 http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/
  64. 64 http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/
  65. 65 http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/
  66. 66 http://fyi.gmblogs.com/
  67. 67 http://fyi.gmblogs.com/
  68. 68 http://fyi.gmblogs.com/
  69. 69 http://www.whatsthediff.com/
  70. 70 http://www.whatsthediff.com/
  71. 71 http://www.whatsthediff.com/
  72. 72 http://blog.quizzle.com/
  73. 73 http://blog.quizzle.com/
  74. 74 http://blog.quizzle.com/
  75. 75 http://blog.linkedin.com/
  76. 76 http://blog.linkedin.com/
  77. 77 http://blog.linkedin.com/
  78. 78 http://www.37signals.com/svn/
  79. 79 http://www.37signals.com/svn/
  80. 80 http://www.37signals.com/svn/
  81. 81 http://productblog.37signals.com/
  82. 82 http://productblog.37signals.com/
  83. 83 http://aviary.com/bizblog
  84. 84 http://aviary.com/bizblog
  85. 85 http://onthegowithamy.blogspot.com/
  86. 86 http://onthegowithamy.blogspot.com/
  87. 87 http://www.peopleconnectionblog.com/
  88. 88 http://www.peopleconnectionblog.com/
  89. 89 http://thenokiablog.com/
  90. 90 http://thenokiablog.com/
  91. 91 http://conversations.nokia.com/2009/08/05/what-is-the-most-important-feature-in-a-web-browsing-device/
  92. 92 http://conversations.nokia.com/2009/08/05/what-is-the-most-important-feature-in-a-web-browsing-device/
  93. 93 http://blog.flickr.net/en
  94. 94 http://blog.flickr.net/en
  95. 95 http://blog.facebook.com/
  96. 96 http://blog.facebook.com/
  97. 97 http://blog.digg.com/
  98. 98 http://blog.digg.com/
  99. 99 http://blog.delta.com/
  100. 100 http://blog.delta.com/
  101. 101 http://1000words.kodak.com/
  102. 102 http://1000words.kodak.com/
  103. 103 http://boeingblogs.com/
  104. 104 http://boeingblogs.com/
  105. 105 http://blogs.sun.com/
  106. 106 http://blogs.sun.com/
  107. 107 http://www.novell.com/company/blogs/
  108. 108 http://www.novell.com/company/blogs/
  109. 109 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/
  110. 110 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/
  111. 111 http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/
  112. 112 http://www.freshbooks.com/blog/
  113. 113 http://www.blogs.marriott.com/
  114. 114 http://www.blogs.marriott.com/
  115. 115 http://www.typography.com/ask/index.php
  116. 116 http://www.typography.com/ask/index.php
  117. 117 http://www.grcblog.com/
  118. 118 http://www.grcblog.com/
  119. 119 http://blog.ning.com/
  120. 120 http://blog.ning.com/
  121. 121 http://theappslab.com/
  122. 122 http://theappslab.com/
  123. 123 http://blog.viddler.com/
  124. 124 http://blog.viddler.com/
  125. 125 http://www.ibm.com/blogs/zz/en/
  126. 126 http://www.ibm.com/blogs/zz/en/
  127. 127 http://blog.toyota.com/
  128. 128 http://blog.toyota.com/
  129. 129 http://blogcouncil.org/
  130. 130 http://mashable.com/2008/08/11/topics-for-corporate-bloggers/
  131. 131 http://mashable.com/2008/07/23/corporate-social-media/
  132. 132 http://www.sitepoint.com/blogs/2008/08/08/15-companies-that-really-get-corporate-blogging/
  133. 133 http://www.toprankblog.com/2008/05/5-reasons-why-business-blogs-fail/
  134. 134 http://boston.bizjournals.com/boston/stories/2008/03/17/story3.html?b=1205726400^1605191&page=1
  135. 135 http://corporate.alltop.com/
  136. 136 http://blogs.wsj.com/biztech/2008/06/30/most-corporate-blogs-are-unimaginative-failures/
  137. 137 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/08/09/10-harsh-truths-about-corporate-blogging/
  138. 138 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/01/28/colors-in-corporate-branding-and-design/
  139. 139 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2007/08/28/corporate-identity-manuals-guides/

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Steven Snell is a Web designer and blogger. In addition to maintaining his own blog and writing for a number of other top design blogs, he also manages an online shop that offers premium graphic design resources.

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  1. 1

    Very nice article, Thanks!

    0
  2. 2

    Well explaining article!!

    0
  3. 3

    Great articles, but I couldn´t keep it up. You can be slower with publishing :-)

    0
    • 4

      nice article, now can give this blog; sacredfear.blogspot.com/ a full makeover thanks!

      0
  4. 5

    Awesome post – check out the corporate site of LINK – simply beautiful!

    0
  5. 6

    MacDonalds had the biggest piece of shit website ever. Unusable inaccessable table-soup. That is no corporate responsibility, that’s a FishFilet no one orders.

    0
  6. 7

    .typing .like .this .is .very .gimmicky .and .I .wish .this .trend .would .die .a .swift .and .quiet .death

    0
  7. 8

    Good information but I didn’t find many of the examples very interesting.

    0
  8. 9

    best article today. thank you.

    0
  9. 10

    really good post & roundup of corporate blogs & analysis

    0
  10. 11

    Good post, as always. I’ll have to share this with a few co-workers.

    I’m a bit disappointed at one of the entry’s though – JNJ BTW has a new, fresh design that launched in June, but you have the older (not so pleasing on the eyes) version on there. Would have loved to see your comments on the new design!

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  11. 12

    Great post with a lot of good observations and insight! Coming from someone who has designed and manages a corporate blog (Rupp Arena Blog), I find that our big issues are getting readers to engage in the discussion. Sure, content is sometimes a challenge, trying to find the relevant things our patrons are looking for, but our biggest challenge is to get them to interact with us and each other. Our most successful posts are when we have contests/giveaways where people feel inclined to comment to be entered into a drawing or some sort.

    We have found that our Facebook and Twitter have filled the need for interaction though. I constantly work on directing people between our blog, Facebook and Twitter, and have found that a nice balance between the three really pays off.

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  12. 13

    That post is very interesting but, i would like read this post in spanish please.
    Many Latin Americans are interested in these important articles.

    Thank you!

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  14. 15

    I find it funny that twice this article lists McDonalds as using Corporate blogs to promote their “responsibility.” I can’t think another fast food chain that is decidedly less responsible than McDonalds. You can write on your blog all you want, but until you start offering a responsible PRODUCT, your blog is a loaf of fresh baked bullsh*t.

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  15. 16

    @Chris
    A couple of years ago I was surprised to find out that McDonalds do a hell of a lot of charity work that they don’t shout from the rooftops about and have been doing so since the mid 70′s. They have a number of charities in various countries that offer scholarships, help for low income families and support for parents with hospitalised children, plus they support literally hundreds of other childrens charities worldwide.

    I’m not sticking up for the state of their food though; there’s no excuse for that but it always surprises me that they don’t push that side of the corporation into the public eye a little more.

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  16. 17

    Great, detailed report with a lot of impressiv examples of corporate blogs. For me it is interesting that companies are using the blog functionality to design the internet sites. This will help me a lot to go ahead with the functionality to create new web projects.

    0
  17. 18

    Interesting article, different. Good job.

    One thing that made me laugh was the statement that McDonald’s “is giving back to the community” and “is conducting its business responsibly.” That was hilarious! :)

    0
  18. 19

    Great article! It would be nice to have more corporate articles on SM!

    Thanks!

    0
  19. 20

    Hi! Just to let you know, that the Nokia Blog is not an official Nokia blog. Nevertheless it is a great blog from Mark G.

    Check out http://blogs.nokia.com for more official Nokia corporate blogs :)

    0
  20. 21

    Great article – note the broken link on the McDonald’s blog image (the image link only, the text one is fine).

    Cheers!

    0
  21. 22

    Love this post. My company just revamped our blog last night. Definitely unique and aesthetically-pleasing. :)

    0
  22. 23

    Moderated comments is one reason many people believe corporate blogs are an appendage of the marketing department.

    0
  23. 24

    TMI. You paying by the word? ;-)

    0
  24. 25

    Wow! Really good!
    tks

    Great job!
    Tks

    0
  25. 26

    An interesting addition or separate article would be how e commerce sites deal with blogs.

    0
  26. 27

    I’m surprised you didn’t examine any of Microsoft’s many blogs.

    The IE blog has very plain branding, but more than compensates for that with lots of useful information for web developers.

    http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/

    (and no, I am not now, nor have I ever been, a Microsoft employee)

    0
  27. 28

    cool . great job, thanks

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  28. 29

    Hello folks!

    Since I work for a Japanese company in Germany which produces model planes, helicopters, cars and boats, I wanted to start a blog because the other manufacturers don`t have any or boring ones. My idea was to blog things that customers are really interested in and NOT making stupid advertisements which nobody wants to see. Of course it could be used for hardcore marketing. On the other hand I think people won`t bookmark a “we are the greatest blog”.

    Thank you for this really great article. Somebody put a lot of work into that and I think a comment here is at least a little “thank you” for that. This text and examples really helps me and others.

    Have a nice weekend

    Adam Piechowski
    KYOSHOblog.de

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  29. 30

    Nice list SM….

    Will have a more indepth look around and see if there is anything I can use to improve blogs I have made.

    Many thanks

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  30. 31

    Ample evidence that corporate blogs have come of age and that,they are taken seriously by their owners.A nice list…

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  31. 32

    You missed one very simple but typical purpose of having a corporate blog: To get indexed by Google! Many media websites are focused on anything but text, and thus they’re forced to write content in order to actually appear in Google searches. This is the case of the website I work in, which is really amazing, but it has nothing but pictures and music. If it weren’t for the blog, we would be aslmot completely invisible to Google, even though our visitors care very little about the written content.

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  32. 33

    Excellent point about the frequency of blog posts. If you don’t take it serious nobody will. A simple “drip” schedule for assigning subjects to authors can really help the search engine spiders and readers coming back often.

    0
  33. 34

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    0
  34. 35

    AlaskaWebDesigner

    August 31, 2009 12:20 am

    Thanks for this information. We just started a blog, NWDS’ Alaska Web Design Blog and we are facing many of the challenges of the big corps.

    NWDS does Alaska Web Design & Development work, but we wonder whether anyone would read our blog. NWDS

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  35. 36

    You could have mentioned Mint Blog. It is a great example of corporate blog, they have got very useful finance tips.

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  36. 37

    Thank U very much! I linke this site full of Inspiration to design webpages. There have to be more ones like this one. Many Designers don’t know about Corporate Design and how important it is to have! Thanks!

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  37. 38

    These designs are nice and clearly formed. I like all the designs and I have been searching for a company who designs well and if you anybody can tell then please let me know.

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  38. 39

    Nice Post. This record helped me in my college assignment. Thnaks Alot

    -1

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