If you don't yet know what a web log (or weblog, blog, ...) is then consider a comprehensive article by Debbie Weil entitled, 5 key questions (you've been dying) to ask about business blogs. Weil covers:
While her article is written for content providers, I think it is appropriate to executives who are considering using internal weblogs to communicate with staff. I cover some other uses of weblogs and my own suggestions in Weblogs will have a greater role in project management.
WHY PR IS THE NAIL FOR THE HAMMER OF ADVERTISING [Advertising Age]
While Al Ries' article Why PR is the Nail for the Hammer of Advertising (AdAge.com, 15 Sept 2003) speaks of selling political canidates, it's advice is valuable for promoting your own products and services. The basis of the article is that public relations lends credibility and increases brand awareness to an advertising campaigns.
Let me add, new business relationships are built on familiarity, public relations opens the door to future transations. This is why I find Ries intecandidatestransactionsresting in the context of the professional business to business organization.
Here are highlights on the original article with commentary:
Ries sums up the entire article with "Advertising is a hammer and works best when PR has set the nail first" -- it really can't be said any clearer than that.
Al Ries is the author of several books on marketing, including The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR. Chairman of Ries & Ries, and Atlantic based marketing strategy firm.
An extension on my building business relationships with your website, Terry Frazier shares Building Business Relationships via the Blog. Web logs serve an important role of humanizing interactive mediums such as the Internet. Readers have the opportunity to comment, quote, and even discuss entries-- providing almost instant feedback from customers interested in the topic discussed.
You must have a clear purpose for your web log. The most ideal use for web logs is to share knowledge about a particular topic or category of topics. As a broadcast medium web logs tend to reach those most interested in the topic, or can then contribute through their own web log posting. Through comments and trackback a web of knowledge is documented for searching.
Trackbacks are a record of references to the current log entry by other sites. The dynamic nature of the web lets readers easily link between sites in the context of the information provided. In this one-to-many medium, trackbacks help map interconnected knowledge.
With all the advantages that web logs have, it is no excuse not to utilize traditional media formats and other face-to-face forums. Consider web logs like open journals to share ideas once they are ready for documentation-- like a record of the decision making and analytical work of business.
Related insights to consider: More on blogs and business relationships, It is time to bring blogging home in the business world, The Power of Knowledge Sharing, Blogs and Business Relationships