Corporate Blogging Pitfalls
It has been widely recognized that blogging is an excellent way to publish content to a website, and many corporations and other businesses are beginning to embrace this idea with a great amount of enthusiasm.
Not only are companies creating corporate blogs, but sometimes a single employee blogs as well, such as the marketing manager or CEO of the company.
Some large corporations like Google and Microsoft actually support their employees in their blogging efforts. Unfortunately, there are some major pitfalls that need to be considered when it comes to corporate blogging, including the need to address a conflict that exists between the openness expected of bloggers, and the confidentiality expected of many companies.
There are some big questions that need to be answered here, leading to corporate blogging pitfalls. How much should an employee be allowed to say about the inner workings of the company in their blog?
It is obvious that secret formulas and insider information are off the table, but what else should not be said? Should employees be allowed to criticize the company for which they work? Should they be allowed to criticize the products they sell or the services that they offer?
How much time should employees be allowed to spend on their blogging projects in general? Is this a part of their job description, or is it something they should be doing on their own time?
The best way to avoid these corporate blogging pitfalls is to address the answers to these questions before employees are allowed to keep up with blogs focusing on the company.
It is clear that when smaller companies decide to venture into this arena, that they should follow the examples and guidelines set by the larger corporations that have been blogging for a lot longer. One of the best solutions is simply to draw up a set of blogging guidelines that everyone within the company must follow in order to maintain a blog.
By doing this before any blogging projects are created, certain activities can be nipped in the bud before they ever become a problem. By establishing a list of suitable topics and unsuitable topics, a corporation or company can better dictate which corporate blogging practices are encouraged and which are not.
Here are some of the corporate blogging guidelines that would help companies large and small avoid corporate blogging pitfalls regarding confidentiality and bad press.
- Refrain from being critical of other products or other competing companies.
- Make it clear that you are stating your very own opinion, and not the opinion of the company as a whole.
- If you are unsure of a specific topic or subject, discuss it with a manager or colleague before posting.
- Do not share secrets belonging to the company, such as secret formulas or processes, or information relating to mergers, takeovers or other confidential information.
- Do not use the blog as a means for selling products overtly, but be authentic and informative instead.
- Do not mention customers or partners by name without express permission.