Blog About How You See Wildlife or Whatever, Not About What You Sell

Two penguins Gentoo.

A Canon commercial on the back cover of an old issue of National Geographic reminded me of a piece of blogging advice that will never grow old: The best blog posts are never about yourself, your company, your services, or your products, but about why you see things the way that you do.

There are many newer examples of this Canon campaign, but the one I came across was from the December 2012 issue. The photo featured a penguin couple, and the opening line of text consisted of two words: “Teamwork works”.  By dividing responsibilities, male and female royal penguins give their young the best start in life, I learned.

  1. The parents alternate two week shifts in incubating the egg.
  2. Once the egg hatches, the mail does guard duty while the female forages for food.
  3. After about 20 days, the chick joins a crèche, free both parents to bring meals home.

The problem: The food sources on which the penguins depend are becoming uncertain due to the effects of climate change.

Anticipating readers’ question “Why is a camera company telling me all this?” the authors go on to explain: “Raising awareness of endangered species is just one of the ways we at Canon are taking action for the good of the planet we call home.”

The “advertorial” ends with a Call to Action: Visit to learn more.

This Canon campaign is a wonderful example for blog content writers. When I offer corporate blogging training sessions, I try to make sure, especially when it comes to corporate blog writing  “newbies”, that they understand the importance of conveying business owners’ core beliefs through their blogs.

Why is that such an important element in creating effective content? In general, blogging can help achieve quite a number of goals:

  • Building good will
  • Staying in touch with existing customers and clients
  • Defining
  • Announcing changes in products and services
  • Controlling damage when it comes to negative PR or complaints
  • Recruiting employeesOf all these goals served by writing for business, though, the most important might be ”humanizing”.  Existing customers need their trust reinforced. Online searchers need to come away with the impression they will be dealing with real, likeable people, not just with ”a company”.

    Blog about how you see wildlife – or whatever – not about what you sell!


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