Growth in Fortune 500 corporate blogs

A new study (pdf) by the Society for New Communications Research (SNCR) has found that the percentage of Fortune 500 companies that have public-facing corporate blogs have increased. Now 81 (16%) of the corporations listed on the 2008 Fortune 500 have a corporate blog which has been updated with a new post in the past 12 months. Three of the top five corporations (Wal-Mart, Chevron and General Motors) have blogs while Exxon/Mobil and Conoco Philips do not.

This is up from 14.8% of Fortune 500 companies found in a study (see below) by Burson-Marsteller (where I work) a year ago. But it still a significantly lower percentage than the Inc. 500 (the fastest-growing, private companies in the US), of which 39% have external blogs.

The industry with most blogging corporations was “Computer Software, Peripherals, Office Equipment” with 8 companies followed by Telecommunications (5) and Food Production, Services and Drug Stores (5). The study also showed that the adoption was greater among the largest companies, 38% among the top 100, compared to 10% among 400-500.

Mere than 90% of the Fortune 500 blogs take comments, have RSS feeds and
take subscriptions and 23 companies (28%) linked to a corporate Twitter account.

Data was compiled in March 2009.

Figures from the B-M 2008 study can be found here:

The Fortune 500 Blogging Index

More corporation on the Fortune 500 are blogging than among the largest Nordic listed companies. A study I did with my colleagues last fall showed that only 9.1% of the corporations on the Large Cap list (the largest listed companies in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland) had external corporate blogs. White paper here (pdf).

Corporate blogging among Nordic listed corporations

View more presentations from Hans Kullin.

Tags: , , , , , , , , . Ping.

Corporate blogging among listed Nordic companies

Burson-Marsteller, were I work, has surveyed the adoption of corporate blogging among listed companies in the Nordic region, with a market capitalization of more than 1 billion euro. We found that 9.1%, or 12 out of the 132 companies have at least one company sponsored blog. Four of those 12 companies with blogs have two or more blogs associated with the company.

Corporate blogging is much more common among the large corporations in Sweden than in the other Nordic countries. Ten of the 56 companies (17.9%) that are listed on the Swedish Large Cap list have one or more corporate blogs. That is an even higher percentage than the 14.8% of Fortune 500 companies with corporate blogs, identified in a separate survey done by Burson-Marsteller in February and March this year. Finland and Norway are lagging considerably with only one company each with a corporate blog (of 27 and 25 respectively) while in Denmark none of the 24 companies have a corporate blog.

corporatebloggingwhitepaper A white paper can be downloaded here (pdf) and graphs and more info found here (although the press release is in Swedish).

Other findings:
– Nine out of the twelve companies have commenting functionality enabled on at least one blog.
– Three out of the twelve companies have trackbacks enabled on at least one blog.
– Nine out of the twelve companies have RSS enabled on at least one blog.
– Two out of twelve companies have social bookmarks enabled on at least one blog.
– Industrials is the sector with most blogging companies (4), followed by Telecommunications Services (3), Information Technology (2), Consumer Discretionary (1), Financials (1) and Energy (1).

This research was conducted during August and Sept 2008 and studied proactive blogging activities within the Nordic Large Cap list which includes corporations with a market capitalization of at least 1 billion euro and that are listed in Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden (as of July 18, 2008).

* Tele2 and West Siberian Resources Ltd. have shut down their blogs since the research was performed.

Tags: , , , , . Ping.

Corporate blog not the place for GM strike

One “downside” of having a corporate blog is that your customers/clients/readers etc may have gotten used to having a dialogue with your company and their expectations on your communications probably have increased. In a situation like the ongoing national strike against GM, many people would probably hope to find comments from the auto maker on one of its corporate blogs. Now, there are of course situations when it is difficult to be as open as you would wish and this appears to be one of them.

Christopher Barger, Director, GM Global Communications Technology, therefore made a short comment on the GM FastLane Blog:

“We’ve seen a number of comments coming in regarding this situation, and we appreciate the interest and opinions that you, our readers, have about this matter. But as I am sure that you can appreciate, these are sensitive times involving sensitive negotiations; a public blog is not the appropriate place for us to be commenting about them, nor do we think it’s constructive to entertain a discussion of labor issues here.

This afternoon, we issued a statement regarding the UAW’s decision; to this point, that is our only statement on the topic. Any future comments we have will be issued via press statement, and not here on FastLane. Thanks for understanding.”

Although one could always hope for more openness, at least this is a good way of managing expectations.

Via Shel Holtz.

Update: What GM does, however, is link to other blogs. For example, Trollhattan Saab is an independent blog that comments on the strike here.

Tags: , , , , , . Ping.

Positive response to Cisco’s corporate blog

A quick follow up post to my last comment about Cisco’s lawsuit against Apple for the use of the trademark iPhone. On a forum like a corporate blog you are bound to have many supporters, but critics are also known to come running. So when I read through the 50+ first comments on Cisco’s blog I noticed that the supportive outnumbered the critics by about 5 to 1, which is very good. Here are a few good examples and especially note the ones calling out for a (blog) response from Steve Jobs:

“Excellent response. It’s amazing what wonders blogging can do.”

“This post reflects Cisco’s openness in their communication. Very well explained. I just wished Apple showed some respect to Cisco’s and its openhandedness.”

“I am impressed by Cisco’ transparency and willingness to communicate, especially so when these traits are exhibited by the senior management. Congratulations, Cisco. You’re doing very well indeed.”

“Excellent. Absolutely excellent, and that’s coming from as big an Apple fan as you’re likely to ever encounter. What Jobs and Company did was (and is) wrong.”

“Very well stated. Apple, where are you? Oh, that’s right, you guys don’t blog…”

“Hats off to Cisco for your candor on the subject and willingness to have a dialog with comments open to all-comers. Steve Jobs? Care to chime in here?”

“I am an Apple fan indeed, but I must say I fully understand and support your point of view. Thank you for the excellent answer, it is time for Apple to think that way, too.”

“I’ve never seen a suit explained as clearly as this before. Your openness is the reason that you will prevail in this suit. Thanks for posting this information for all of us to read! Great idea to blog it!”

The opinion battle is far from won for Cisco. The biggest criticism against the company is that they seem to want a piece of the action rather than just to sell or license the trademark. But they are off to a good start.

Tags: , , , , , . Ping.

Corporate blog supports Cisco in iPhone lawsuit

Cisco yesterday announced that it has filed a lawsuit against Apple, “to prevent Apple from infringing upon and deliberately copying and using Cisco’s registered iPhone trademark.” For communicators it is expecially interesting to check out how Cisco uses its corporate blog to support the official press release. In the blog, Mark Chandler, Cisco’s SVP and General Counsel, is able to add pathos to the story, appealing to the emotions of the audience. Apple on the other hand does not have an official corporate blog to my knowledge which could be a disadvantage at this stage. Advantage Cisco.

[Via WSJ Law Blog.]

Tags: , , , , , . Ping.

The SEC opens up for corporate blogs in investor relations

Jonathan Schwartz, the chief executive officer of Sun Microsystems, suggested to the SEC that his corporate blog could be used as an approved channel to disclose corporate information. Although the response is not entirely positive, the Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox leaves the door open for further discussion, according to

“The Commission encourages the use of websites as a source of information to the market and investors, and we welcome your offer to further discuss with us your views in this area,” Cox wrote.

Tags: , , . Ping.