I am in the middle of preparing revisions to an online course I teach at Royal Roads University (Victoria B.C.) in the university's MBA program. One of the course units is focused on social media, and I expend a good deal of "ink" in the course notes arguing that learners -- all of whom are pursuing an MBA with a focus on public relations and communicaitons -- should recognize that social media change the way we need to think about corporate or organizational communications.
I also urge people to try it for themselves because I don't think you can understand the power (and pleasure) of blogging unlesss you do it.
Thanks to Mike Coates (H&K Canada's CEO) I came across an interview with Steve Rubel by David Maister (former Harvard University professor and author of various books including Managing the Professional Services Firm . . . and not only a blogger now but a podcaster as well!) that should be required reading for PR professionals. Rubel challenges the point of view that reduces blogging as a corporate communications strategy to engaging customers or clients in conversations. "It's about connecting (there's that word again- BN) with a wide group of stakeholders," says Rubel.
To that I would add demonstrating transparency and a willingness to take part in a conversation which you can't control . . . both central to building trust. And as we know many companies have a lot of trust-building to do.