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Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Why Scholarly Publishers Should Blog

Now that I've been following my own must-blog advice for a few months, and even have a number of subscribers (woohoo!), I frequently have publishers asking me why I started this one and if they should consider it. here's my answer:

Scholarly publishers should blog for the same community engagement and reputation management reasons as any corporation:

  • Open and more frequent dialogue with customers.
  • Release news and comment faster.
  • Influence perceptions.
  • Other influential blogs will link to you.
  • You become an authority in your field.
An example of a corporate Online PR success is the General Motors Fast Lane blog; despite Vice Chairman Bob Lutz making an offhand comment about global warming, the readers of GM’s blog effectively 'came to his rescue' to support his right to voice personal beliefs about climate change.

If you're worried about opening up a can of worms over an uncomfortable topic, consider this: if No.10 Downing Street microblog then so should you - your issues are not as 'political' as theirs and the benefits of an open conversation far outweigh the inevitable moaners.

And finally... think about ROI, yes. But focus on the potential ROE (return on engagement). The benefits to a publisher in terms of influence, visibility, and networking are obvious: its a potent fusion of PR and Search. But if you've decided against a corporate blog - what are you afraid of?

Why would you not want to converse with your customers?

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