I just e-mailed my annual performance review to my manager. And it's always a relief to hit that send button, but you also always wonder if there wasn't just one more piece of information that you would have supplied to show how awesome you are.

I am struggling with something this year that I think lots of marketing professionals-at least those that don't have big research budgets--struggle with as well. When you are doing outbound marketing or PR activities, in my case community building stuff, how do you know when you have been successful? Or more specifically, how do you PROVE that you have been successful?

In a recent post, I mentioned that corporate bloggers need to be able to draw a connection between their outreach efforts and results and I am not sure I have got this one figured out yet. And I don't think our market research folks are going to do a study on it.

Positive feedback is great (and trust me, all of the kind comments and even some of the not-so-kind ones have been really great for me in terms of my own personal growth). But at some point, if you can't point to tangible, significant results, does your blogging become something that is just “nice to do”, an “extra” but not something that is important to your job. In my case, how can I show that the work I have done here has caused more people to apply to jobs at Microsoft? Or in a broader sense, show that this blogging has helped people see us as the cool folks we are (come on, admit it...you like us)?

Come on you corporate bloggers out there...you must be going through the same thing right? How do we build a business case for blogging? How do we measure the ROI?

I'll be thinking on that this weekend over a few margaritas. I'll also be standing behind home plate at a softball game trying to look like I know what I am doing, in a fashionable way, of course.

Have a great weekend everyone! (In case you are wondering, 80 degrees and sunny here)