Friday, May 05, 2006

Organizational Communication Imperatives and Corporate Blogging, by Kennie Swanson

Context for this post

Corporate blogging has sprouted from organizational communication as a fascinating way to connect internally and externally to individuals interested in the happenings of a particular organization. Blogs have made the impact of a tidal wave over the past decade and while corporate blogging is still relatively new, it has already changed the way many people conduct and view business. Many organizational imperatives inform the practice of corporate blogging and for this reason it was very difficult to try and zero in on only one to describe. However, after some careful thought, I think that the level of organizational identification members have towards their corporation has the strongest effect on corporate blogging.

Organizational identification is accomplished within a company when members of that company take the characteristics of the organization including its values, beliefs, rites and culture and make them their own. In order for a blog to even be thought of, one must be vested in the factors for which a company stands for. Furthermore, when running a corporate blog, this sense of identifying with an organization heavily shines through as the backbone for which posts, comments, and even templates are created. From the corporate blogs that we have been exposed to in class discussions, our interviews, and the research of fellow bloggers, I have found that all carry a high intensity of organizational identification.

A great real life example of organizational identification and corporate blogging is evident through John Cass of Backbone Media. John is the director of corporate blogging strategies and he is a true believer of the power which corporate blogging beholds. He is the main contributor to the Blog Survey Blog and is clearly in high identification with Backbone’s values, beliefs, rites, and culture. His association with Backbone is evident from the content that he produces as well as his feelings towards the company in relation to blogging as he has been much appreciated to share with our class. I also found that organizational identification had a tremendous impact on the way in which one of my interviewees, Tim Jackson blogs on behalf of Masi Bicycles.

Tim has been a die hard bicycle enthusiast since he was just a child. I’m serious; he has a picture of himself on his blog, Masi Guy when he got his first bike for Christmas. Now, Tim says that he is living the dream as a brand manager / corporate blogger for Masi bikes and I can’t think of another corporate blogger on earth who identifies more with their company than he does. While reading Tim’s blog, it is quickly apparent that Tim has taken the heart and soul of Masi bikes and made them into fun interesting blog posts. If Tim did not identify with Masi as an organization to the level that he does, it’s questionable whether the blog would even exist and it’s certain that it would not be written with the same persona that has made it so successful.

Through blogging as a class we have talked about some very interesting issues in regards to corporate blogging. And, in dealing with organizational identification, I definitely feel that our own blogs progressed more and more once individuals within the class took in the values, beliefs, rites, and culture that Dr. Carl established for advanced organizational communication. All in all, I’d say it’s been a pretty majestic experience and one that I will take with me in pursuit of my own career. To all my fellow bloggers out there, it’s been real and I’ll catch you in the blogosphere!

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