Blog Schmog

May 20, 2011 at 9:16 PM

Yes, the title of this blog is taken from a book by the same name and written by Robert Bly. After reading this book I started being more critical about the blogs I read. Not because the author said to be more critical, but because I love reading blogs and have not given much thought to other marketing and communication professionals that do not share this opinion.

I am not that intrigued by personal blogs, but think that everyone has the right to blog about whatever topics that interest them and they have some knowledge about. A friend of mine blogs short stories, my mother blogs about her family and I blog about issues facing non-profit organizations. Each of these blogs have an intended audience and most of the time this audience does not overlap. But these blogs still have a place in the blogosphere.

I am not of the opinion that print media is dead, but blogs add something to our disciplines that print media cannot: interactivity and immediacy. I have never had a question about a chapter in a book and called the author to ask him what he meant. I have never disagreed with a magazine article and sent an email in support of the opposition. However, in the blog world, although content may not be polished and some view points unfounded the conversation is immediate and long-lasting. Through a blog a reader can connect with the author(s) and other readers around the world to further develop the issue or have a very detailed correspondence regarding the topic. Often blogs present an initial picture or a conversation starting point for others to expand. The topic and response are also more immediate. I can find out about an upcoming Facebook update in a blog long before anyone can re-print a book like “Facebook Marketing in One Hour a Day.”

The blogoshpere is also open to anyone who has something to say. Often times blogs are very opinion based and not as factual, but the discussion is started.

On this note, for nonprofit organizations, blogs provide a unique opportunity to connect advocates, volunteers and beneficiaries together in support of the organization’s mission. Blogs can be created as a members only blog where only internal staff or volunteers can access the blog and join the discussion or the blog can be open to the public.

Other than time, blogs are also free. Most nonprofits print one or two newsletters per year, if any at all. Once these newsletters are received by the donors, volunteers and prospects the “news” is old news. With the growing rate of social media interaction we often know what organizations are doing even if the organization is not releasing or printing the news. For this reason alone nonprofits should start incorporating blogs into their marketing kit just to stay in the loop and be part of the conversation. Moreover, search engines (SEO – search engine optimization) love blogs …

Here are ten reasons that corporations typically blog that you should consider for your organization:

  1. Search Engine Marketing.
  2. Direct Communications.
  3. Brand Building.
  4. Competitive Differentiation.
  5. Relational Marketing.
  6. Exploit the Niches.
  7. Media & Public Relations.
  8. Position You as an Expert.
  9. Reputation Management.
  10. Low cost.

Ultimately you will need to make up your own mind regarding your ability to start, maintain and monitor your blog.

Have you ever considered blogging for your nonprofit? Often times organizations begin this process by simply asking a board member and a staff member to take turns posting. Do you currently blog in any realm or comment on other people’s blogs? We would love to know. Share your blogging stories with the nonprofit community.

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About the Author

Susan Douglas is a non-profit advisor, social media consultant, educator and trainer, software and donor database implementation specialist and all around guru for the non-profit community. Susan has worked in non-profit development and management for 13 years and is currently an affiliated partner for Non-Profit Partners.

Although Susan has spent the majority of her professional career building traditional fundraising and awareness campaigns, Susan is most passionate and excited about emerging new media and how these tools can help foster and nurture real relationships with community advocates on behalf of the non-profit organizations she serves.

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