Ok ok, before anyone starts jumping down my throat no I don't think Distilled were responsible for a +£3m in market cap over the past month. Still, it's nice to dream.
What we WERE responsible for was helping Rentokil launch their new blog, deBugged, in the UK and as you can see from the graph below the dates coincide remarkably accurately. We launched the blog on 1st Apr 09 which is the same date that the stock price rocketed:
It's been a really interesting project to work on and Danusia from Rentokil shared some of her thoughts and insights after the first month in her recent post: 9 lessons I learnt putting together a new blog.
So what is this post about if it's not about the £3m of added value we provided? Well for starters it's nice to return the favour to Rentokil of mentioning us in their blog - that's how blogging should work after all! Also we've helped launch a few corporate blogs recently and I thought I'd share some inisghts agency side of persuading a large corporation to shift into 2.0nd gear (that's Lucy's joke, FYI) and start embracing social media. To be clear, these are generic issues we've come across and don't all apply to Rentokil!
##5 Tips for persuading a Company To Start Blogging
###Sell it to them
The first step of any succesful project is the selling. Persuading the client of the benefits along with setting realistic targets and goals is very important to the smooth running of the project. It's important at this step to ensure that you not only sell the project but clearly explain what will be required of the client. Simply having a blog won't do much, so you need to explain the value of publishing content and reaching out to other blogs etc. Explaining this thoroughly and clearly is important since the person/people you're selling it to will often have to go and sell the same thing to other members of the organisation, whether it's their boss or the guys in IT so giving them a fundamental understand of the project is crucial.
This is one of the hardest steps for an agency where you're used to moving at breakneck speed, shifting between projects and goal posts changing day-to-day. Often working with large companies can be a challenge as it can take what seems like an age to get things signed off and implemented. It's important to remember, however, that moving quickly for large companies is not their speciality and that often there are many many layers of sign-off required and many different departments which require buy-in of the project. This step is important though since it ensures that the proper processes and resources are available to the project such as the legal backing, technological support etc.
The people you're dealing with at large companies are not often your 22-year-old jeans-wearing reddit-junkie and while the enthusiasm can be high often the experience with blogging and social media is quite low so it's important to explain both the HOW and WHY of blogging. Relating action to reaction can really help people understand the whole blogging 'thing' more clearly. We've found that using examples on other blogs of what works and what doesn't helps tremendously as well as offering guidelines on various aspects of the blogging strategy, from headline writing to image use.
###Don't forget the technical
A good blog not only contains great engaging content but it also needs to be easy to use, easy to comment and have a strong call to action to subscribe via RSS. These are the things that can often cripple an otherwise successful blog. By making sure you get involved in the technical deployment of the blog you can save yourself a lot of headache later on. Not to mention the SEO benefits of having proper title tags/URLs...
Once all this has been done it remains to launch the blog. It's a really good idea to start with some great content to attract visitors early on and we helped rentokil put together their unbelieveable pest truths post which is fascinating (who knew rats were like little rodent superheros!). And the recently launched top 10 pest urban myths - busted! post which I think will do really well too!