The Kansas City Star has put out an article about blogging and gives a number of examples of company’s using blogs to their advantage. Included is a list of things to consider if your company is thinking of starting a blog:

– What do you want to accomplish? Don’t start a blog just because it’s trendy. Are you looking to get reactions from customers? Vespa, the scooter company, found a couple of active Vespa bloggers and gave them space on the company Web site. Is it a marketing blog, designed to build your brand? A small plumbing company might drive business with a blog that includes plumbing tips.

– A decision to begin blogging should come from the top, with commitment from the CEO on down.

– Find a champion inside, an evangelist to talk up the blog inside the company and to make sure the blog doesn’t fall by the wayside.

– Develop policies for company bloggers. These may be similar to the company’s existing ethics policy, with some additions for the new medium.

– Integrate your blog into everything the company does. Include information about your blog on your printed materials, your Web site, customer bills.

– Make your blog interactive. Those who make comments on the blog will be more engaged in the process if they know you’re reading and responding.

– Network. Visit other blogs that talk about your business or industry. Comment. Link to those blogs, and to prominent customer blogs.

You can catch the entire article here. It’s a great overview.