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Dec 10, 2008

Brand Value of Social Media from Forrester Research

Report: Corporate Blogs Not Trusted

According to a new report by Forrester Research, corporate blogs are the least trusted information source of all. Only 16% of online consumers who read corporate blogs say that they trust them. You can grab a copy of this report for free by filling in a form at Forrester. The full trust scale is below, with 'Email from people you know' the most trusted at 77%.

We have some reservations about the findings of the report - and to prove our point in this post we check out a good and bad example of corporate blogging, from Dell and the Walmart blog respectively.

The report stated that regular blog readers and bloggers trust company blogs a little more, and those that trust corporate blogs are more likely to trust other media. Consumers are skeptical, says Forrester, because they view corporate blogs as unbalanced. So their advice is: if you're a company thinking of starting a blog "about your company and its products", you probably shouldn't bother. For those companies that already have blogs, Forrester says that "if your blog generates leads, links, positive reviews, buzz, or PR, it's probably worth keeping." Otherwise shut it down.

The Forrester report was noted by the Blog Council, an organization which is focused on "the business of blogging and social media at the corporate level." The council listed a number of its own member blogs which they (naturally) regard as trustworthy:



The Forrester report in the end is a little unsatisfactory. Trust has to be earned and some corporations are actively making the effort to do that. As a result, there are some corporate blogs that you trust more than others. To claim that corporate blogs are the least trustworthy information source on the planet seems unfair - and untrue in many cases. This is one instance where the stats don't tell the full story, in our view.

If you're a company wanting to find out how to do corporate blogging the right way, there are many great blogs that cover this - a couple of ones we recommend are the blogs of Debbie Weil and Jeremiah Owyang (who happens to work at Forrester and who has a post up on the report).

What do you think? Do you trust corporate blogs?

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