I am attempting to understand the value of corporate blogs to companies. I think I can identify two principal ways in which a corporate blog can add value to a company. (1) A learning tool for product development and customer feedback, Macromedia's product development team use blogs in this way, there development staff have a number of blogs and they gain a lot of ideas from the interactions with customers. (2) A marketing and PR tool for building community with your customers and auidence. A corporate blog allows you to combine good content, with lots of keywords resulting in highly ranked pages around a particular subject matter. The nature of blogs, regular content that is posted throughout the week, gives a blogger the chance to get lots of new relevant content in search engines through search engine optimization techniques. You therefore have a tool for creating viral word of mouth campaigns, from customers who read your blog on a regular basis and new visitors from search engines.
My question this posting--if you have a corporate blog does the value you get from your corporate blog fall into either or both of these categories? If not what type of value do you get from your corporate blog?
(Note: I think I define a corporate blog to be both a formal and informal blog that discusses a bloggers industry or company.)