I looked recently at why companies should blog and followed this up with a guest post from the ‘chief blogger’ at AEC design firm HOK in which John Gilmore talked about using blogs to help change the external perception of the company and to appeal to future business partners and clients, among other things. These are clearly objectives shared by other sizeable companies, as the latest Research Insight from US consultant Brockmann & Company shows.
Brockmann’s survey looked at the use of blogs in 155 large companies (ie: those with over 1000 employees) and contrasts that with experiences in over 200 smaller organisations. The headline findings were:
- large companies that publish blogs for vendors, customers or employees report significantly higher customer and employee satisfaction, greenness, revenue per employee, and market share (larger organisations tend to have a broader commitment to communicate company values, goals and strategies, resulting in better informed employees, customers, etc, higher productivity and increased personal commitment)
- large companies are more likely to have employee-focused blogs than smaller companies – reflecting the greater need to encourage collaboration across a distributed or fragmented organisation (38% of large companies currently have employee blogs; Brockmann expects this to increase by some 50% over the next 12 months)
- across all companies, the top motivations to have a blog were to improve communications, to create and leverage group wisdom, and to demonstrate thought leadership
- the main motivational differences were that large companies thought blogs made their corporate personality more human, while smaller companies felt promoting positions on strategic issues was more important (not surprising as smaller companies often lack the market clout and resulting credibility enjoyed by larger organisations)
This final point underlines what HOK is seeking to achieve; as John said, HOK wants to change the external perception from “HOK the big company” to “HOK the creative people” – in other words, to make HOK more human.
However, the vast majority of organisations in the architectural, engineering and construction market are not large businesses – they are small or medium-sized enterprises. As a result, if they blog, such construction businesses are more likely to blog in order to raise their profile, ie: to promote their thought leadership and promote their positions on strategic issues.