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How can we develop a distinctive voice for our company's blog?

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The good news is, it's easier than you might think. The trick? Being yourself, talking about things you care deeply about, and doing it all in pretty much the same voice (that is, the tone and word selection) you'd use for face-to-face conversation. Having only one or two lead bloggers can keep your voice consistent, with occasional guest bloggers dropping in for variety.

Where organizations often get tripped up is treating a blog the way they'd treat, say, an annual report or a news release. Making a blogger jump through multiple hoops of approval, giving your legal or PR department a shot at editing every post, or giving them so little latitude there's no room for spontaneity can quash any sense of the authenticity that lies at the heart of truly distinctive voice. Sure, they need to know about your legal and strategic communications constraints. But if you give your bloggers the room they need to speak honestly and with passion, you'll be delighted at the results.

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