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Jun30
Corporate Blogging and JupiterResearch: Survey Raises More Questions Than It Answers
On Monday, June 26, JupiterResearch distributed a press release on corporate blogging that was widely reported throughout the blogosphere.  In the press release, the firm revealed the following:

- “35 percent of large companies plan to institute corporate Weblogs this year”

- “Nearly 70 percent of all site operators will have implemented corporate blogs by the end of 2006”  

The Problem

The problem with this report is that it is confusing.  Is it true that we’ll start seeing corporate blogs pop out of the woodwork in 2006?   We are currently six months into the year.  Where are all of the corporate blogs?  One skeptical blogger, Toby Bloomberg of Diva Marketing Blog, had this to say about the report:

“Something seems off to me.  According the Fortune 500 Business Blogging Wiki (written by Chris Andersen of Wired and Ross Mayfield of Socialtext) . . . as of April 18, 2006, 29 (5.8%) of Fortune 500 companies had a blog. If JupiterResearch’s analysis is correct and “nearly 70% of all site operators will have implemented corporate blogs by the end of 2006″ a lot of Fortune 500s (not to mention other large companies) are . . .  going to be pretty busy building blogs during the next six [months].” The Brush-Off (Part I)

Aware that some critics have dismissed bloggers as poor fact-checkers, Bloomberg contacted Peter Arnold Associates, the public relations agency representing JupiterResearch.  They told her that they couldn’t answer her questions about the survey because “information about JupiterResearch’s reports are available to accredited members of the press for free and clients.”  Because Bloomberg’s blog is closely tied to her company, they do not consider her to be a member of the media.  

The Brush-Off (Part II)

I also thought the study was a little bit funny and decided to contact the PR firm myself with some questions about the survey methodology.  I received a phone call from an executive at JupiterResearch's PR agency (who asked not to be identified) who told me the following:

-JupiterResearch is not revealing any more information about the survey to any member of the media.

-We do not play favorites.  If we answered your questions, we’d have to answer everyone’s.  It does not matter if you write for the Wall Street Journal or a blog.  We are not revealing any more information about the survey’s methodology. 

-Nothing occurs in a vacuum.  We log questions we receive about JupiterResearch’s surveys and the company decides whether it will address them in the future. 

-If you want to find out more about the survey, you’re welcome to purchase the report. 

JupiterResearch Survey Contradicts Other Findings 

Bloomberg and I are skeptical about the report because it contradicts several pieces of research looking about corporate blogging over the past year.  Most importantly:

-According to a Harris/Makovsky & Company poll, 70 percent of executives at Fortune 1000 companies who have heard of the term “corporate blogging” say that no one at their company is writing a blog relating to their company or its activities.  In addition, only 32 percent of these individuals believe that blogging is growing in credibility as a communications medium for corporations, either “moderately or to a great extent.”

-DM News published a report on Wednesday based on a study that Forrester recently released titled: "Interactive Marketing Channels to Watch in 2006.”  In that report, Forrester concludes that marketers are “curious about blogs,” but are not putting very much money into them.  

So, based on this research is it true that 70 percent of large corporations plan to implement corporate blogs by the end of this year?

The Review

Given the questions surrounding the JupiterResearch report and my interest in the subject of corporate blogging (especially as it relates to healthcare), I decided to pick up the report.  For $750 I  receive:

-A four-page summary of the research results

-A 30-minute interview (which I have not yet conducted) with the analyst responsible for putting together the report

As I read the report, I sought to answer the following questions about JupiterResearch’s methodology and the demographics of the firm’s survey population.  Because of the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) I signed when I purchased the report, I can’t go into detail about the findings.  However, I feel it is important for me to share my observations about the report because it is far from adequate

Following are my responses to questions I asked myself and JupiterResearch’s PR firm, Peter Arnold Associates, about the report:

1. How many people responded to the survey?

Because of the NDA I signed, I am only comfortable saying that JupiterResearch conducted a poll late last year and surveyed less than 500 individuals.  For more on the survey demographics (and you'll not learn much), you’ll have the purchase the report.  

2. What industries were respondents representing (financial, technology, healthcare, etc.)?

JupiterResearch provides no information about what industries it focused on when conducting its survey.  However, JupiterResearch’s spokesperson told me that the research firm surveyed people from “a range of industries.”  

3. What role did respondents play in the company (IT, marketing, corporate communications, etc.)?

The report and press release refer to “site operators.”  After reading the report, I still don’t know what this means.

4. How was data gathered (via telephone, on-line, etc.)?

JupiterResearch provides no information in the report about how it gathered responses to the survey.

5. How did JupiterResearch define "large corporations" (revenue, employees, etc.)?

A spokesperson from JupiterResearch’s PR firm told me that it surveyed executives from corporations with $50 million or more in annual revenues.  The survey was not conducted globally.  

6. Did JupiterResearch survey a representative sample of executives working at large corporations in all industry sectors?  

The report provides no detailed information about the survey population.  

7. Is JupiterResearch referring to internal or external corporate blogs?  

The report does not answer this question.  

The Verdict

I can’t say that purchasing the report for a cool $750 provided me with much more insight into how JupiterResearch conducted this survey or how it made its conclusions.  I learned nothing from the report that I couldn’t have gleaned from the press release

Overall, I think that any responsible company asking people to spend a significant amount of money on its research should – as a matter of course – provide detailed information about the methodology it uses to conduct its surveys and a clear explanation of how it came to its results. 

I have two pieces of advice for readers:

-Don’t buy this report

-Don’t accept the results of this survey

Next Steps
 

I plan to ask the analyst who wrote this report the same questions I listed above.  I will also ask his permission to publish his responses on this blog.  Based on my experience with JupiterResearch’s PR firm, I don’t expect much. 

As always, your comments are welcome. 

Find out more information about Blog Marketing, Blog Advertising and Blog Marketing Research.

15 Comments/Trackbacks




» Jupiter Research Blog Report Reviewed from Diva Marketing (Blog)
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» Fard Johnmar's Take On The Jupiter Research Blogging Report from Backbone Blogging Survey
Fard Johnmar writes a critique of Jupiter Research's Blogging report. Jupiter had suggested in their report that 70% of companies would be blogging by the end of the year. Based on my understanding of the industry, I do find it... [Read More]

» Don’t expect answers from Jupiter Research from NevilleHobson.com
In show #150 of FIR last Thursday, Shel and I talked about Toby Bloomberg’s experience with Jupiter Research concerning their recent research report about corporate blogging. This is the report that says 35% of large companies (in the US) plan t... [Read More]

» JupiterResearch zu Corporate Blogging from MiFoMM
Am 26. Juni veröffentlichte JupiterResearch eine Pressemitteilung, die auf großes Interesse in der Blogosphäre stieß. Nach einer aktuellen Studie … … planen 35% der großen Unternehmen den Start von Corporate-Weblogs in 2006 … nu... [Read More]

» The Changing Face of Healthcare Blogosphere from The Medical Blog Network
Several news last week highlight the changes afoot in the health and medical blogosphere. Dr. RW has a roundup hinting that some of the earliest medical bloggers are signing off. Dr. Ves Dimov hits the nail on the head in the comments section, suggestin [Read More]

» July 7th: This week’s top 5 from Strive Notes
Here are some excellent post served to my desktop this week.   1. In its dealings with  Healthcare Vox, Jupiter Research demonstrates how to get blogger relations completely wrong.  It’s strange when you consider that Jupiter is supposed to b... [Read More]

» How Fast Is Corporate Blogging Really Growing? from BusinessBlogWire
How quickly is the number of corporate blogs increasing?I'm not going to answer that question right now.  But I ask it so we can examine it from a different point of view.This is a history student's plea for us all... [Read More]

» JupiterResearch corporate weblog survey from Corporate Blogging 101
Great news!  Jupiter research released a study that, if correct, indicates that blog consultants are going to be very busy this year! Findings from the JupiterResearch study on corporate blogging: 35 percent of large companies plan to institute corpo... [Read More]

» Dell's New Hell and other ruminations from Marketing Roadmaps
Poor Dell. Damned if they don't and Damned when they do. I'm joining the voices who want to give Dell a break, and let them get their feet under them in the blogosphere. They deserved to be damned when they [Read More]

» Dell's New Hell and other ruminations from Marketing Roadmaps
Poor Dell. Damned if they don't and Damned when they do. I'm joining the voices who want to give Dell a break, and let them get their feet under them in the blogosphere. They deserved to be damned when they [Read More]

» Corporate Weblogs - methodology redux from Greg Dowling
My recent corporate Weblogs report (or more appropriately the press release) raised the ire of several members of the blogosphere and has several bloggers crying foul. Well, in an effort to provide "transparency" to the survey methodology and answer so... [Read More]

» Jupiter Research Makes Some Changes from Diva Marketing (Blog)
Checking blog stats one finds interesting links .. a referral to David Schatsky's, President JupiterKagan, blog. Both David and Greg Dowling, the Jupiter Research analyst of the infamous Jupiter Research corporate weblog study, provide additional infor... [Read More]

» The JupiterKagan Corporate Blogging Survey: Four Lessons I Learned From This Incident from HealthCareVox
The HistoryOn June 29 Toby Bloomberg, author of the Diva Marketing Blog, posted an article questioning the results of a JupiterResearch (now JupiterKagan) study.  A press release distributed by the firm seemed to indicate that a significant number... [Read More]

Better late than never... I put together a chart that links to various studies about blogging among the Fortune 500, Fortune 1000 and small businesses. The chart can be accessed in my article at Wisconsin Technology News - http://wistechnology.com/article.php?id=3210

Paul:

Thanks for visiting and commenting. Great article!

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