How does an employee become a blogger? That was the central question on the expert stage at #rtb15 (CeBIT 2015) last Friday.
I was invited to join the panel discussion, because I am “taking care” of this blog. Of course I told my friends about it and the first question everybody asked: “So what’s the answer?” The disappointing answer: “It depends!”
In our case every blogger joins us voluntarily. Obviously the person has to work for Continental, but that’s the only condition for entry. Every blogger has the freedom to choose a topic, to choose a style, to choose the pictures … That requires passion on the side of the blogger and trust on the side of corporate communication/ the company. In my opinion you can not make an employee a blogger. As a company you need to offer the open environment that values blogging. Then you can just try to tease the blogger out of the employee. To do that the basic conditions have to be good. Meaning: give total freedom, support when asked for and check every article before it’s online to make the bloggers feel save.
The discussion was a lot about how to motivate the managers/executives or even board members, too. Heike Gehring from Mann+Hummel, Stefan Pfeiffer from IBM and Christian Buggisch from DATEV have made quite different experiences. In our case there are some managers blogging, but no one from the board YET. I heard that sometimes it is a problem that managers say they don’t have the time for writing. which indicates that sometimes people don’t see the need and the chances of a blog like this. Fortunately at Continental most of the people like our blog and support participation. Also our Recruiters receive of positive feedback on this source of information.
We did not have a lot of time during the panel, so I could not tell my favourite story about the blog. It happened during the Formula Student Hockenheim event, where two of our bloggers (Sunil and Varun) were supporting at our booth. I was shooting some photos when they came and asked why not everybody wants to join the blog. They could not understand how someone would not want to write. So they started a spontaneous video promotion for the blog. I really had to lough a lot. Unfortunately the sound was not really brilliant with all the engines in the background. Otherwise we would have put it on the intranet for sure :-).
Motivation for blogging is different from person to person. Some like the variation from their daily work, some feel good by sharing insights they would have liked to have when they applied for Continental. What is/ would be your motivation?