"Unlike more traditional firms, many of today’s Web companies were built on the mission of creating transparency for users. Executives have lived that mission, blogging about company successes. Now that bad times are coming, some of them feel the need to make that public, too. A blog post also comes across as more heartfelt than a press release with canned quotations."This reminds me to mention that my article in queue for Journal of Communication won't be out until next year's first edition. In the meantime, I believe I can send a copy of the 'in-press' manuscript if anyone's interested (this was the larger-scale follow-up to the JCMC study).
Here's the abstract:
Organizations face unique challenges in communicating interactively online with publics that comprise dauntingly large numbers of individuals. This online survey examined the perceptions of people who had experienced interactive communication with a large consumer-tech-industry company via organizational blogs. Those reporting the greatest exposure to the blogs in this study were more likely to perceive the organization as communicating with a conversational voice. Conversational human voice and communicated relational commitment (relational maintenance strategies) correlated positively with trust, satisfaction, commitment, and control mutuality (relational outcomes). Building on prior research, this survey supports a model of distributed public relations – one in which key outcomes of public relations are fostered by a wide range of people communicating interactively while representing an organization.