This whole “blogging” thing has really got me thinking. In my short life as a blogger (almost 3 weeks) I have been completely amazed by the communication hurdles that blogging can overcome. I have this, my personal blog…and I have been wondering why I don’t start another blog for my volunteers. It would be better than a newsletter (which is old-school) better than emails (which get deleted or never make it to their inteded recipient) and better than a website (because of the interactive capabilites). I think a blog for Emergency Disaster Services would allow the EDS volunteers access to info about upcoming volunteer opportunites, see photos of the volunteer responses, and would allow them to talk about their experience in a safe place afterward with others who experienced similar things.
As Emergency Disaster Services, we respond to disasters in and around the Chicago area. These can be anything from a fire in a city apartment building, to a bomb threat, to a tornado or flood. Outside of our area, we have been asked to respond to Katrina, by packing food boxes and hygiene kits which we sent down to the Gulf Coast Region. In a 5 month time frame, over 50,000 personal hygiene kits and 30,000 food boxes were packed by volunteers at our EDS Distribution Center. Obviously, the volunteers would have a lot to talk about.
There are different categories of volunteers.
* The Canteen Volunteers are on-call certain nights each week in case of a fire. These are dedicated folks who respond at all hours of the night. They are trained, are committed, and come to the EDS team meetings. Many of them are still responding in the Gulf Coast right now.
* The SATERN (Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network) volunteers can be located anywhere. Many of them have radio equipment in their homes and serve when lines of communication are down. For example, when Katrina hit, the cell towers were down for weeks, and the SATERN team was responsible for the search and rescue of thousands of survivors.
* Special event volunteers are the ones who come in and pack food boxes after a disaster. They are a magnitude of people who give an hour, a day, or a lot of days packing food boxes, answering phones in the national call-center, or doing whatever needs to be done to help with disaster response. These are the ones that I think will benefit most from the blog.
Because of these thoughts, Corporate Blogging has been my research topic of the day. What I have found is only a scratch on the surface, since blogging is fairly new to most people, but this is some great info for anyone thinking of starting a corporate blog.
Thomas Nelson Publishers made a list of guidelines for their blog that they are starting. These would help anyone thinking of doing such a thing.
Business Week-online gave these “Six Tips for Corporate Bloggers”
Forrester.com’s Charlene Li seems to have some insight as well.
I know many of you are wishing that I already had my business blog started, but I have to get the idea approved by the board before I can do anything :o) Until then, Ill just keep learning how to do my corporate blog right when I finally have one. Ill keep you posted.