Why this Corporate Blog works: AuthenticityTo show you how sincere Bill Marriott is trying to be, he even records each blog post as podcasts! This adds to the authenticity of the blog because you can have people write for you but it would look really stupid if they had a voice over as well (I wouldn't put it past some companies).
Lastly, you can add comments to this blog- both good and bad (although they do moderate them). When I had a look at this blog, I remembered a few stories about hotels that I stayed at in Austin (which is a beautiful city). I had this terrible experience at a Holiday Inn that stuck me on a smoking floor even after my most heart-felt protests (the old mechanical lung that I received in 'Nam bit didn't work). I vowed never to go back. During my last visit I had a great experience when I just so happened to have stayed at a Marriott hotel downtown on 4th street. On my last afternoon there I felt like &*^# and stayed in bed to try and rest up. I called down to room service and the gentleman on the other end realized I sounded sick and sent up a plate of freshly cut up oranges with my soup order. It's this type of service that you remember and with a blog, you can easily leave comments that you know others will see (I tried to forget that afternoon but Bill's stories jogged my memory). You see that's just it with comments - people add them so they can have their say and have others see that they have written something and then tell others their story.
In any case Bill, keep up the good work and the great service.
PS - Here's an oldie but a goodie:My Top 10 List on the Positives of Corporate Blogging
PPS - In the post Drive Web Traffic or Drive Loyalty? I discussed the idea of making your customers feel special. Giving people a place to tell their story and provide their opinion is similar to this concept in many ways. That's one of the reasons that corporate blogs can succeed. How else can you get closer to a brand that you really love and show your appreciation other then purchasing or experiencing it in person?