Survey finds 15% of Fortune 500s are blogging

NEW YORK: Nearly 15% of Fortune 500 companies communicate with consumers via blogs, according to a study conducted by Burson-Marsteller.

NEW YORK: Nearly 15% of Fortune 500 companies communicate with consumers via blogs, according to a study conducted by Burson-Marsteller.

The survey, conducted in February and March this year, found that 74 Fortune 500 companies actively maintain blogs, many of them technology-related corporations. The top four industries with blogs were: Computers, Office Equipment (IBM, Dell, etc.); Network and Other Communications Equipment (Motorola, Lucent Technologies, etc.); Semiconductors and Other Electrical Components (Intel, AMD, etc.); and Internet Services and Retailing (Amazon, Google, etc.).

“[The surveyed blogs] are primarily for external communications, but there may be internal blogs that wouldn't show up within this report because this only [represents] blogs that we can find with relative ease,” said Erin Byrne, Burson chief digital strategist. “When I thought about it, I thought that the number would have been higher, and I think the reason…why it still isn't higher is that companies are still grappling with how they participate in the conversation when they don't have control over the message.”

The agency said the figure represents about a 270% increase compared to when Wired magazine and Socialtext began tracking Fortune 500 blogs in December 2005. The Wired wiki of Fortune 500 blogs counted 58 of them as of May 2008.

Larger companies tend to control blogs in greater numbers than their smaller counterparts, according to the Burson study. Nearly one-third (32%) of the Fortune 50 maintain blogs, while 16% of the Fortune 201 through 250 have blogs. Only 2% of the Fortune 451 to 500 maintain blogs.

“It's not surprising that the biggest companies are doing more blogging. They have more resources for communications,” Byrne said. “What the results across the board show is that blogging has become a core part of any communications program,” Byrne said.

The survey only included active blogs that were updated during the 12 months ending March 2008.

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