Defining a corporate blog

If you visit any of the blogs run by people in the communication business, you’ll find increasing numbers of articles and discussion on corporate blogging: blogs by companies and other organizations. Much discussion is taking place on why and how to do it (including this lively topic, A Very Brief look at Blogging for the Uninitiated Executive, during the Global PR Blog Week 1.0 event in July).

From what I can see, there doesn’t seem to be clear agreement on what a corporate blog is. Defining it looks like it’s more difficult than it should be. Surely it’s simple: a corporate blog is a blog that’s managed by a company.

Yes and no! An interesting definition is this one by Fredrik Wack√• in his CorporateBlogging.Info blog –

A corporate blog is a blog published by or with the support of an organization to reach that organization’s goals. In external communications the potential benefits include strengthened relationships with important target groups and the positioning of the publishing organization (or individuals within it) as industry experts. Internally blogs are generally referred to as tools for collaboration and knowledge management.

I think that’s a good definition, but it needs a strong focus on the key characteristics of what a blog is. I’d re-word it like this –

A corporate blog is a blog that is a complementary part of the overall communication channels employed by an organization in support of achieving its strategic and/or tactical objectives. While such a blog is supported or owned by the organization, it is written, edited and published with the same principles of spontaneity, immediacy, lack of controls, and personality of the author that characterize the accepted definition of a blog.

My suggestion is still incomplete, actually, so I still have my thinking cap on. I’d love to hear any other suggestions or comments.