We often wonder who actually reads employee blogs. Are people truly interested in the inner workings of a company as described by some Chatty Cathy with a laptop? And aren’t insider blogs really just lengthy commercials for the company in question? Well, it seems the results are in. Just take a gander at the blog of one John Heald of Carnival Cruises for more evidence.
Heald is the blog-happy senior cruise director for the Carnival Splendor. Cruising enthusiasts – about 7 million, he claims – click on over to his blog for witty (albeit longwinded, grammatically-challenged) observations regarding life on deck the Carnival Splendor. Heald is conversational, funny and opinionated. He playfully bashes the occasional tourists and provides insight into his day-to-day life as a cruise director. Short of the long-deceased Love Boat, Heald’s blog is the closest thing folks will get to inside info from the world of cruising.
But his day in the life of the Carnival Splendor got downright dramatic when the ship was engulfed in flames last week. Heald hopped on his blog to describe what happened during the fire in a 5-part blog series. Better than any news coverage – and certainly a PR shot in the arm for Carnival, Heald gave readers the real story from an employee’s perspective.
Heald’s blog may be an anomaly in the employee blog genre; even pre-fire, the blog brought in millions of readers. The employee or industry blog gives regular folks a peek inside what happens behind closed doors. Is it unethical or kiss-and-tell or just plain voyeuristic? No more so than reality television or business profiled documentaries. Industry blogs at their best can provide the real dish about a business while serving as an ambassador of public relations. Heald’s details of the fire don’t show a company that sat back and watched a ship burn. He instead offers a gripping account of how the crew and captain moved as fast as they could to get the passengers to safety. The inside information of an employee blog can powerfully convey a business’ messages ten times faster and more effectively than a traditional press release ever could.