Thursday, December 15, 2005

We want to blog. No, wait. Blogs scare the crap out of us.

I realize that large public companies are forced to worry about all kinds of things that can suddenly trip them up. If it's not Sarbanes-Oxley, it's some nut bag claiming they found half a finger in their burger. With the media attention these stories generate, it's easy to understand why so many executives don't sleep well even when their stock is on a nice, steady climb.

So with more corporations considering blogs as a communications tool, it's hardly suprising that others are ready to step forward and deliver a healthy dose of paranoia about the instant publishing world. In fact, PR outfit Burson-Marsteller has created a guide for corporations and how they can handle blogging without getting their hands scorched.

Trouble is, the guide basically wrings anything positive right out of the whole blogging business. Their process sounds about as much fun for a corporation as a phone call from Elliott Spitzer.

Frankly, I wonder why a company would want to expend a bunch of energy unleashing everybody in the organization as a blogger on the corporation's behalf. The modern workforce is too fluid for that to make sense to me.

Instead, I think large companies should work very hard at a blog that is a great representation of ______, Inc. on the web. It's a challenge to do it without turning it into marketing talk, but it can be done. And it can still include many voices from within the company.

Most of the bad press about corporations and blogs has occured when a company cans someone who says things like, "Black Lab Five sucks. I hate working there. And Dean Gemmell is a complete tool." Well, guess what? If you talk crap about your company – online, on the phone, in a bar – it might come back to bite you. That's always been true. I think the story of the poor, maligned blogger disciplined by an employer is old news.

Companies don't need every employee to be a mouthpiece. Keep the company as the voice. Just make sure it's honest and transparent.

1 Comments:

Blogger Caroline Gilbert said...

Blog help us to increase the knowledge in their particular subjects and also help us to increase lab reports

10:43 PM  

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