This article in Hospitality Net debating the issue of corporate blogs – specifically the one by Bill Marriott – as an effective marketing tool reminds me of Seth Godin’s book “The Meatball Sundae”. The bottom line argument of the book is that your communications should be consistent with your overall corporate culture and not be in contradiction. Following the logic of this argument a company blog that is used as a mere PR tool to extend the old one-way communication mindset is not going to be effective and can even backfire in today’s marketplace that has rapidly become a conversation.
Based on the evidence presented, it looks like Bill Marriott has managed to turn his blog into an effective tool that supports the overall brand and has put a human face on a travel industry giant. I admit not being a regular follower of his blog but having listened to Bill at a number of industry events, I think that he indeed is a credible and well qualified spokesman for the company, not the least because after all it carries his name. That fact alone gives him an advantage over other CEOs who might want to emulate him.
The bottom line, however, is the credibility of the blog as a voice – and listening tool – that is consistent with the overall corporate culture – otherwise it can be a mess, as Godin in his inimitable way makes clear.