British Companies Slow to Launch Blogs

Posted on January 31, 2007

An article in the Independent Online says British companies have been slow to blog and that only two FTSE 100 companies have blogs. It also mentions another study found that just 3% of UK SMEs (small and medium enterprises) plan to start a blog.
While chief executives of many US giants - such as GM and Sun - blog regularly, it remains unusual for a British company to have a blog. Recent research found only two FTSE 100 companies running blogs. This reluctance is backed-up by a survey published in September 2006 by web hosting company Fasthosts, which found only 3 per cent of UK SMEs intending to start blogs. This is despite there being 54 million blogs on the web, with another 75,000 created daily.
As the article's author Paul Gosling suggests the UK's lack of corporate blogging seems unusual given the growing popularity of blogs worldwide. In the U.S. many small and medium sized businesses already have blogs. It is unclear exactly how many U.S. companies have blogs. The Independent Online article does spotlight a commercial sign company in the UK called GRS Sign Company that has a blog. Good for them.
GRS Sign Company - which produces commercial signs - is therefore unusual. It started its blog in June. "It allows us to talk among ourselves, about our business," says Richard Dows, a signwriter at GRS with responsibility for its web, having previously been a web designer. The target audience is "anyone who reads blogs," he says.

As a new blog, it is still building its hits and responses from customers, suppliers and the public. But - unlike some blogs - it seeks comments. Recent blogs have included a discussion on alcohol-related accidents at work, the challenge of disposing of old computers, conducting fire risk assessments, the design of braille signs and, of course, the growing demand for no smoking signs.
The rest of the article deals with why blogs can benefit corporations and offers some tips for how to do it right. Small US and UK companies looking to start a blog may also want to read the results of the Northeastern University and Backbone Media Blogging Success Study.
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