The vast majority of Japanese bloggers responding to a survey by international public relations firm Edelman and blogging search engine Technorati Japan say they blog about companies—about half of them doing so once a week. But very few Japanese companies are actively communicating with the blogosphere.
More than 84 percent of Japanese respondents say they blog about companies (their industry, service, or products), with 49.3 percent doing so at least once a week (and 14.6 percent saying they do so “daily or almost daily”).
But a majority of respondents (55.4 percent) say they are “never” contacted by companies. Yet 70 percent of Japanese bloggers said that they find corporate websites to be trustworthy or very trustworthy, while 62.9 percent indicated that they find the “corporate news release” trustworthy or very trustworthy.
“What these results show is that while Japanese bloggers are communicating about companies or products all the time, companies are not communicating with them enough, even though conventional methods of corporate communications are still more trusted in Japan compared to America,” says Edelman North Asia president Robert Pickard. “This seems to argue in favor of companies supplementing their traditional one-way ‘monologue’ communication of messages by engaging with bloggers online through a new two-way ‘dialogue’ where conversations are key.”
Seventy percent of respondents say that among the reasons they blog is “to create a record of their thoughts,” while 63.8 percenty say they blog “to create a record of the information that I have gained,” and 58.7 percent say they blog “to share information I have gained with others.”
The survey of 213 bloggers was designed to discover how Japan’s bloggers communicate with companies and blog about their products, with a view to determining general blogger PR preferences for corporate and product communications.
Just 4.7 percent of the Japanese bloggers surveyed said that the primary reason they blog is to “raise visibility as an authority in my field,” whereas 33.9 percent in a similar Edelman/Technorati study of English language bloggers last year cited that as their primary reason for blogging—a significant cross-cultural difference.
“The important thing is targeting,” says Technorati Japan marketing manager Fumi Yamazaki. “Because bloggers have different attitudes depending on what company or product or product category they are talking about, we are trying to reach out to the bloggers, understand what they want and provide the means for the companies and bloggers to both be satisfied with what we provide.”