Internal Blogging

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Last October my team worked with our Internal Communications colleagues to develop an internal blogging platform (WordPress) to allow our new 14 Heads of Service to share thinking and updates about the council’s direction as well as updates from within their services areas.

We have had experience of internal blogging before – the chief executive used to blog, but that essentially faded away and was replaced with an internal email newsletter from the chief executive.

I remember having conversation with people back then and many said that they did like and value the chief executives blog but many thought that a more localised view from their head of service would make more sense….so here we are a few years down the road and we are now in that position.

So in the 3 months that they been going, my personal view is that they are successful – ok, not all heads of service are actively blogging yet, but we didn’t create or set any expectations for any of them. BUT and this is the good bit a good number of them are actively blogging and in my view are doing a great job.

So I thought I’d share some interesting high level stats in the short time they have been going – The stats are from 13th October 2011 to 12th January 2012.

  • 4,482 – visits
  • 1,850 – unique visitors
  • 18,733 – page views
  • 4.18 – pages a visit
  • 3 mins 09 secs – average time on site
  • 61% – returning visitors
  • 26 – comments

In my view – this is fantastic, really good. The kind of stats we couldn’t have actually hoped for initially. My only concern is the number of comments, but this is a cultural thing really as well as the content in the blog posts…not all are written to encourage comments, some are purely information only…so we will be looking to add a “like this post” option so we can get a sense as to whether or not people are finding the posts valuable.

What we will be doing with our internal comms colleagues is providing some individual reports for those heads of service who blog to help them understand the details of their blogging pattern and style, for example which posts received most visits.

The most successful writing style is one which brings in elements of humour as well as the personality of the individual themselves…i guess a natural style…so our challenge is to encourage and support them to write more consistently like this when appropriate.

It is great to see and be part of a team (the wider communications team) who are making such great progress.

6 thoughts on “Internal Blogging

  1. Roger Cashmore

    Hello Carl,
    I like the idea,
    You state that some time ago “(Email) essentially faded away and was replaced with an internal email newsletter from the chief executive”.

    I strongly believe that email is absolutely the WRONG instrument to communicate internally with colleagues (and externally with close partners & stakeholders). There are many reasons for this stance but I suppose the biggest one is the fact that the Sender controls the agenda NOT the receiver. We are pretty much obliged to open every email we revive even when most of it is either, – not relevant to our job or unsolicited broadcast spam. I feel so strongly about the abuse of email that I have even come up to County Hall to discuss this very subject with some of your work colleagues(!)

    Strikes me that the organisation you work for may be an old fashioned top down structure where the agenda is dictated by the chief executive(!)

    Using internal blogs could be considered to be a first step on a long journey towards democratising communication and becoming a more open and inclusive organisation. keep it up!

    • Thanks Roger,

      I disagree about your comment regarding the culture of the organisation (others may disagree with me of course) – Email has been used in the pass as one of many channels of communications, however one of the benefits is that the majority of staff have email and this is one of the only ways we can actually reach some staff.

      But i do agree that we are changing and we should definitely keep it up….

      Carl

  2. I think this is great! Probably just me being dim… but is there a link to the Leadership Team Blogs on our DCC Intranet homepage? If it could be made more easily ‘findable’ folk are more likely to comment on the posts?

  3. It’s good to see someone tackling this. I’ve believed for some time that one of the social media-related maturity checks one can apply to an organisation is the extent of internal blogging. “Blogging” (or more likely, having someone write it for you) is fairly common by senior politicians, and in one form or another, by Chief Executives, of course. Not uncommon by Department heads, either.

    However, below that, by politicians or officers, I think it’s rare. But as a benchmark of internal trust, etc, allowing formal blogging ought, imo, to be a goal. The most commonly expressed difficulties or opposition generally relates to someone saying “the wrong thing”, or a pervading fear that someone will. My view is that if that is the case, the organisation needs to look at a) why it worries so much about alternative viewpoints and b) why such viewpoints might want an outlet through a blog.

  4. James Olsen

    Can anyone point me to advice that shows why explicit corporate messages posted in senior staff’s ‘personal’ blogs is detrimental to the desired aims of these blogs?

    • I’m not sure corporate messages are detrimental – however it all depends what you want an internal blogging platform to be?

      Anyone can write about anything, however my personal experience is that a more natural style of writing online is generally more engaging.

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