by: David Armano
A couple of weeks ago, I asked a simple question. Should digital agencies be blogging? I mean, we are out there advising clients on "social media" and how it's evolving the way we interact with brands and each other. Some folks felt that the question was silly. Isn't this a no brainer? Well, not exactly. The best part of the post came in the comments (no surprise) and the post itself got picked up by several agencies who use internal blogs to discuss issues like this. This means that they are having conversations in private vs. publicly. And there's nothing wrong with that. But wouldn't you like to be fly on that agency's wall? I would.
My POV comes from a personal perspective as most things do. Blogging has given me a better grasp of the nuances of social media—how it works and what it means to get involved. It's made me a better writer, a better thinker and more "strategic" at creative problem solving. For me, it is "intellectual prototyping" as Roger Martin put it. I use my blog and other social media tools as "digital ethnography". I watch what people do online. I study it and connect the dots. I look for patterns in behavior. I take comments on my blog to heart—even when I don't respond. I soak it all in. And it most definitely creeps into my work. You can be sure of that. So should agencies be blogging? My answer comes in the form of a challenge:
Yes, I believe agencies should be blogging. Blogging with a purpose. I believe they should invest the time and energy it takes and align the effort around their agency's culture, beliefs and perspectives. I believe it's an opportunity to participate openly. But if an agency doesn't see a purpose—then maybe it is better not to do it at all (I'm with you Cynthia). As I said in my comment, it's less about having a "social media strategy" and more about having a vision. My vision or "purpose" was to prove to myself that a blog could indeed be an "engaging experience"—but I didn't know how I was going to do this. Then I did my first meaningful visual and the rest was history. But enough about me—here's what some of you had to say:
"Sounds like a big question. Perhaps we should also ask what they would blog about? How often? Would their blog be public / internal or private (for the clients only?)"
"For me it comes up to this: Will you take advice of an accountant or a lawyer that only read some articles but never done any work themselves? So why take advice from a marketer that never blogged before. (You all know about Coke Zero and Sony psp flogs). I believe you have to practice what you preach. The first thing I've done in FRANk was to start a company blog. It's not much and we didn't "find our voice" yet but I think all this will come. The critical thing is to be part of the conversation as soon as you can. Because if you're not, well, you're talking to yourself."