Corporate Blogging Elevator Pitch Contest: The envelope please…

The results are in for the Corporate Blogging Elevator Pitch Competion, and the winner is…

Lee LeFever of Common Craft Consulting!

Lee won a $100 Amazon gift certificate from Weblogs Inc. sponsor Spoke Software, the publication of his winning pitch on the blogs of all the judges, and, of course, “bragging rights”. 😉

This couldn’t happen to a nicer person. Lee has been a friend and colleague of mine for a couple of years now, starting on the Communities of Practice Yahoo Group, where we met when he was running the online communities at Solucient. I’ve frequently linked to and quoted him here, and he’s been a valuable contributor to our book. He also has a tremendous knack for explaining technology in plain English.

The judging panel consisted of Dave Pollard, Dina
, Don Park, Flemming Funch,
Jim McGee, Lilia
, Martin Dugage, Phil Wolff,
Ross Mayfield,
Ton Zijlstra, and yours truly. It was quite an interesting experience, as we collaboratively developed the scoring criteria, as well as having all the scores open for the other judges to see (the contestants were anonymous, though).

Here’s Lee’s winning pitch:

First, think about the value of the Wall Street Journal to business leaders. The value it provides is context — the Journal allows readers to see themselves in the context of the financial world each day, which enables more informed decision making.

With this in mind, think about your company as a microcosm of the financial world. Can your employees see themselves in the context of the whole company? Would more informed decisions be made if employees and leaders had access to internal news sources?

Weblogs serve this need. By making internal websites simple to update, weblogs allow individuals and teams to maintain online journals that chronicle projects inside the company. These professional journals make it easy to produce and access internal news, providing context to the company — context that can profoundly affect decision making. In this way, weblogs allow employees and leaders to make more informed decisions through increasing their awareness of internal news and events.

One of the things that became abundantly clear out of this exercise is that there are a ton of good ideas out there, but we are still trying to figure out just exactly what the compelling business case for corporate blogging is.

Lee’s pitch is excellent — it very clearly describes what blogging is, makes a case for business value, captures your interest, and does it all in a casual, story-like format.

But perfect? How can anything like this ever be perfect when you’re going after a moving target? For that matter, the perfect pitch to one executive for his company won’t be the perfect pitch to a different executive and her company. One of the things that became abundantly clear in this exercise is that there’s no one perfect.

I think there’s room for a lot more development in this area, which I hope the other judges (and Lee) will participate in. Congrats again to Lee, and I look forward to more good things from him. And a special thanks to Judith Meskill for bringing it all together.