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When I find myself discussing the merits of companies having their own blog as a companion to their corporate Website, I am often asked for examples of "real" companies doing so. (Most of the corporate blog examples I am aware of tend to be from Internet or technology related companies, which are sometimes not considered "real" enough companies by the folks I am speaking to. But that’s a topic for another blog posting.)
I was on holiday in New Brunswick last week and stumbled across a seemingly unlikely but unquestionably "real" company that has its own corporate blog. There are at least a half-dozen small companies in the Bay of Fundy area that offer whale watching tours. Based on the limited information I had gathered from various regional tourism brochures, the whale tour companies all seemed to offer pretty much the same service for a similar price. So, like many other people would do in my situation, I turned to the Internet and explored the various companies’ Websites.
The companies without Websites immediately lost my business. (That’s a topic for another blog posting as well!) The remaining companies offered pretty much the same info on their Websites, with one exception. Quoddy Link Marine, to my pleasant surprise, also had a "Sightings and Updates" blog. The blog is maintained by Danielle, a marine biology graduate in charge of photographing, identifying and recording the whales and sharing that information with various marine research organizations. Danielle’s blog chronicles through words and photos (by Danielle) the recent whale sightings and had been updated earlier the day I first looked at the blog with photos of whales that had been spotted that morning.
I was immediately captivated by the near-immediacy of this information and the fact it chronicled the spontaneous nature of whale watching. The "Sightings and Updates" blog also demonstrated to me that Quoddy Link Marine really cared about whales and the environment, not just selling whale tour tickets. Thanks to their blog, I also felt one degree closer to the people behind this tour company than with those from any of their competitors.
Needless to say, I chose to go whale watching with Quoddy Link Marine, not because they had a blog, but because of what the blog revealed to me about the company and its staff, something a typical corporate Website is not usually very good at. And in case you’re wondering, the company and the whale watching tour lived up to my expectations. The afternoon we went out we played ‘hide-and-seek’ with a minke whale plus saw lots of harbour seals, harbour porpoises, and a young bald eagle.
Not only did I have an amazing afternoon on the sea, I also found a great example of a "real" company that has its own corporate blog.