Of Dogs and Blogs


  • By David Burda
  • July 07, 2015
Of Dogs and Blogs

After college, a few of my buddies rented a house together, hoping to continue the campus lifestyle that they had grown accustomed to after moving out of the dorms. For various reasons, they decided to get a dog. I dropped in a few weeks after they moved in and asked them what their dog’s name was, and they said it was Dog.

The dog’s name was Dog.

The bit got a big laugh every time Dog was introduced to a new person. On subsequent meetings with Dog, what seemed cute at first became dumb at best and cruel at worst. Dog deserved a name that told others and me a little something about himself and less about his owners’ sense of humor.

I think about Dog every time I visit the website of a healthcare corporation and see that the company does have a blog, and the blog’s name is Blog. It means I think about Dog a lot, because I would estimate that 9 out of 10 corporate healthcare blogs I look at are named Blog.

Now, a blog is only as good as its content, whether it’s named Blog or something else. That said, when a healthcare corporation — or any company for that matter — names its blog Blog, it misses a valuable ongoing opportunity to tell its customers, potential clients and the segment of the industry it’s in what the company stands for. It’s an opportunity to convey the company’s overall message or point of view. At the very least, working the company’s name into the blog name is a branding opportunity.

The cleverly named LillyPad is the corporate blog for Eli Lilly and Company, the global pharmaceutical company based in Indianapolis. The drug maker uses LillyPad to convene a public conversation about the big issues facing the healthcare industry. The thread that runs through that conversation is Eli Lilly’s point of view — and business imperative — that consumers have “. . . access to safe and effective medicines, now and in the future.”

ThinkAnthem is the corporate blog for Anthem, the nation’s largest health insurance company coincidently also based in Indianapolis. Anthem uses ThinkAnthem to share its thoughts with the industry at large on new ways to deliver and finance healthcare services. (The blog was called ThinkWellPoint until WellPoint changed its name to Anthem in December 2014.)

Aside from conveying the corporation’s point of view, a distinct name separates the blog from the corporation, increasing the blog’s credibility with users. Taken a step further, a blog with a distinct name and credible, trustworthy, compelling and timely content can have its own website, its own newsletter and its own social media presence. It can convene an industry conversation at arm’s length from the corporate parent and attract users who wouldn’t be caught dead on their laptops, tablets or smartphones surfing a traditional corporate site.

Like Dog, your corporate blog deserves a name that makes it special, serves as a pillar for all of its content and gives it an identity separate from all the other dogs and blogs out there.