Since we launched the Ketchum Blog (the one you’re reading now) in June, I’ve seen a lot of great submissions and comments from contributors around the globe on a wide range of subjects, ranging from professional to personal. By my rough count, we’ve already got more than 60 posts from over 30 contributors. And based on the site’s analytics, which has measured an average of more than 40 visits a day with an average time spent for each visit of over two and a half minutes, it seems that we’re starting to get some good traffic to the site as well.
Not too shabby out of the gate, I’d say.
At the same time, with somewhere around 2,000 employees worldwide — most of whom, as PR pros, are strong writers and gregarious people — we’re looking at what might seem like a pretty low participation rate, with about 1.5% of employees contributing. Of course, that’s hardly surprising, given that the blog is relatively new, people are busy tending to their day jobs, and many of us already actively post content in other places on the Web, from our own blogs to the social networking sites.
Still, it’s made me wonder about the psychology of employees participating in their company’s blog. Is it an opportunity to position oneself, advance one’s career and inject some personality into one’s professional life? Or, on the contrary, is it a burden, too much exposure, more vulnerability than employees are ready to bargain for, given the high percentage of their bosses and other senior executives who are likely to read their posts?
Toby Ward recently published a thoughtful piece that provides some insight on employee engagement on corporate blogs. His findings give me reason to think we’re actually off to a promising start with the Ketchum Blog. Specifically, Ward reminds us that less than 1% of Internet users have a blog, and those that regularly contribute to any blog represent a mere fraction of that 1%. Here’s the kicker: across the board, he says, employee blogging stats on their own companies’ blogs are far less impressive.
So, there you have it. On one hand, we’re off to a modest start. On the other hand, the 1.5% of Ketchum employees who have taken the early leap onto the Ketchum Blog apparently put us ahead of the curve.
Does this say more about Ketchum or the curve?