Anyone who works in a organisation of more than two people will have either sent or received mass emails at some point. Email is the traditional mode of communications within organisations. Whether it is for important company-wide announcements or sharing information between project teams or departments, there will always be a need to mass broadcast information to your colleagues.
However, anyone who has sent or received company-wide emails will also have experienced the drawbacks that comes with them: accidentally missing someone out of an email thread, receiving multiple “reply-all” messages that aren’t relevant to you, or not receiving any responses at all when you need feedback.
Consequently, with the move towards enterprise social collaboration, organisations are moving towards using blogs for their internal mass communications as an alternative to email.
Here are 10 reasons why you should start using blogs instead of email too:
1. Avoid spamming your colleagues
A blog is the perfect platform for announcing company news, publicising wins and knowledge sharing. It is open and visible for everyone to see, but not intrusive to your colleagues’ working day. People can opt-in to email updates so that they are receiving information on their own terms. Or they can browse at leisure, the least obtrusive option of all.
Rather than spamming your colleagues’ inboxes with details of the latest conference that may not be relevant to all recipients, put this information in a blog post. Those who need the information will find it, while those who don’t can choose to ignore it. And, you won’t risk setting off a “reply all” chain from your initial message, further spamming inboxes with unwelcome mail.
For shorter updates, microblogging is a great way to share information with your colleagues too. You can find out more about the benefits of microblogging in our blog post 17 reasons law firms should use microblogging.
2. Make information easily accessible and always available
Once posted, blog posts stay visible and available instead of getting hidden in the depths of individual inboxes (or deleted items folders). The posts are ordered chronologically, meaning that you have a list of company events, news or announcements pre-sorted for ease of referrals and comparisons.
In addition, posts can be grouped and tagged with keywords. This makes it even easier to find relevant information, rather than using the search function on your email client or manually sorting all emails into individual folders as you receive them and having to remember that they’re there.
3. Give everyone in your company a voice
While there are often rules (written or unwritten) about who can send a mass email around a company, anyone can create a blog post. This gives everyone within the company a voice, no matter if they’re a graduate intern or the CEO. What’s more, it also enables colleagues in different offices, cities, or even countries to communicate and share information freely.
Colleagues can record their thoughts, opinions and ideas in the blog for their own benefit, but also this means that the information is open for their colleagues to read and share. In large organisations, it is easy for personal expertise to go under-utilised. Having this information in the open means that knowledge can benefit other departments and individuals, who might have something to contribute too. We covered the importance of knowledge sharing in our blog post Five reasons to socialise your knowledge sharing initiatives.
4. Get the right eyes on your message
Often, deciding who to send a mass email to can be trickier than writing the email itself. Finding everyone’s email addresses, deciding who to include, who not to include, and remembering to include the right people can cause a headache.
Posting the details in a blog will make sure that everyone who should see the information can. No one who should be exposed to the information will be missed out.
Sometimes you only want to broadcast a message to certain colleagues, perhaps your project team or your department. In this case, it is possible to set permissions on certain posts, which means they will only be visible to certain pre-set groups of people.
5. Manage your information (and find it again!)
No matter how advanced your email client, searching for a specific email is usually frustrating and time consuming. Never mind the challenge of trying to find a collection of emails on one topic, which is next to impossible if they haven’t been named correctly by the senders.
Blogs allow you to quickly and simply tag individual posts, meaning that it is extremely easy to filter and find posts on a specific topic. Colleagues can effortlessly find information that is relevant to them, such as project updates, thought leadership pieces on certain subjects, or forums for ideation.
6. Keep communications in one place
Blogs are perfect for fostering dialogue between colleagues. People are encouraged to give feedback by commenting on blog posts and engaging in discussion with one another and the author of the blog too.
This function sets blogs apart from email: rather than disparate threads of email conversations that are difficult to follow or collate, comments are ordered and kept together with the original post, easy to find, easy to follow and easy to contribute.
7. Measure the reach of your communication
Short of using delivery and read receipt notifications, it is very difficult to see how many people have opened your emails, let alone seeing how many people have read them.
With blogs you can use your analytics tools to see how many views your post has had, how long readers have spent viewing the post, how many times it was shared, and of course how many comments it received.
These analytics are particularly useful over time in reviewing which posts have been more popular than others, what type of news colleagues care most about, and working out how to get more colleagues to read your posts in future.
8. Pass on the news
Blogs are built for sharing. Posts can easily be shared to social media or your microblogging platform, forwarded via email, and picked up by RSS feeds.
People can also subscribe to receive email updates about new blog posts – this kind of opt-in subscription means that you are getting your information straight into the right colleagues’ inboxes without the risk of spamming associated with mass emails.
9. Keep colleagues up to date
Unlike emails, blogs can be edited after they have been posted. This means that if any errors appear in a post it is simple to make an adjustment to the post, rather than having to send around a retraction if an error goes out in a mass email.
This also means that you can keep information (and colleagues) up to date if details in your post change. For instance, if there is a post about the company summer party and the venue changes a month before the event, it is easier to edit the post with the new venue than send another email out. This way, you’re not contacting those colleagues who weren’t planning on attending anyway.
10. Add value to the information
Blog posts allow for far more flexibility in design than emails, with many more options for formatting posts in a way that will grab your colleagues’ attention.
It is easy to embed images and videos in blog posts, in a way that would be impossible with emails due to file size limitations. You can also embed tools that are useful to you, for instance including a sign-up form for an event.
If you would like to learn more about how enterprise social collaboration and blogging can help your company, please contact us.