Why you need a (multi-talented) blog editor
I talked about this today in my teleconference on How to Write an Effective Corporate Blog.
The challenge, as I see it, is to identify someone in your organization who is capable of doing a number of different things which draw on different skills. A blog editor needs to:
1. Manage the technical or backend of the blog
This isn't hard to do once a blog is set up in TypePad, for example. But it still requires time to master the interface. You need to be a teensy bit techie in order to be comfortable doing this. It helps a lot if you can do simple HTML coding.
2. Understand the content strategy of your blog
What's the goal? Who is your audience? What kinds of topics / editorial voice fit that goal? What articles in MSM (mainstream media) should your blog be linking to and talking about? What bloggers should you be linking to? Which of the Comments left on your blog do you need to respond to?
3. Monitor the blogosphere and MSM
This goes hand-in-hand with #2. In addition to setting up RSS keyword searches (this is free, if a bit hit or miss), a blog editor can ask that everyone send him/her newsy links they run across. If you have a larger budge, you can use a social media mining service like Nielsen BuzzMetrics.
4. Be a great editor
Oh I almost forgot this. Your blog editor needs to be a great editor so he/she can smoothe out syntactical gaffes, correct spelling and otherwise make the blog sound graceful and compelling. And also a great writer as he/she may be doing some of the writing.
Given the breadth of these skill sets / knowledge / talent, maybe the blog editor job needs to be split among several people in a large organization.
How GM's FastLane does it
Note that GM's FastLane blog is managed by a team that includes Christopher Barger, GM's Director of Global Communications Technology (love the title), along with Alicia Dorset, who is titled "blog editor." I know that GM also works closely with their PR/interactive agency, Haas MS & L on the blog.
What are your thoughts on who and how to manage a blog (or a number of blogs) for a company? I'd love to hear what you have to say.