When bloggers attack, we, as trained communication experts, must be ready to respond, and must recognize bloggers as a new wave of reporters. Many are key influencers who can rally a community against you. Working with bloggers and responding quickly builds rapport and relationship. And gets you the bigger story—maybe even a more balanced story.
Anti-employer blogs, those which criticize companies or their employees, are posing significant legal and ethical challenges for corporations. The important legal issue is the conflict between the employee's legal duty of loyalty to the employer and the employee's right to free speech. Although U.S. and state law describes what an employee may or may not say in a blog, corporations should encourage employees to contribute to the process of creating clear, reasonable policies that will help prevent expensive court cases. The important ethical issue concerning anti-employer blogs is whether an employee incurs an ethical duty of loyalty. In this article, I conclude that there is no such ethical duty. The legal duty of loyalty, explained in a company-written policy statement that employees must endorse as a condition of employment, offers the best means of protecting the legal and ethical rights of both employers and employees.
First it was e-mail messages, next it was PDA messaging, and now it is blogs. These networking tools are all widely used by employees. They also sometimes become a source of contentious litigation when employers become concerned over the risk of corporate liability and public disclosure of confidential information that these new technologies pose.
In a broad sense that the weblog can be beneficial to the business world as a whole. More specifically, however, it provides technical communicators with unprecedented opportunites at innovation and leadership.
Unlike corporate websites, b-blogs are cheap to launch and easy to maintain, thanks to powerful, easy-to-use tools. Unlike spam, or junk e-mail, b-blogs aren't intrusive; users must click to them. Done well, b-blogs provide a fast, informal way to share information -- project updates, research or test results, product-release news, industry headlines -- inside and outside your company.
“We need to get global awareness fast,” says your CEO. “Make it happen.” When faced with the need to rapidly increase your organization’s visibility around the world, there are some daunting and expensive challenges, particularly if your company does not have a local presence in the countries it is targeting. Hiring local public relations and marketing communication talent, translating collateral into local languages and identifying and getting into both formal and informal business networks are just a few of these challenges.
The world of blogging, also known as the blogosphere, is wild, highly viral, uncensored and unedited. It is also the newest and most critical tool in a business communicator's toolbox. Why? Because with blogs, communicators can quickly, regularly and easily deliver a variety of information to a highly targeted audience. A good blog will create a more personal relationship with customers and influencers by showing that the company is listening and responding to what they have to say.
Writing a professional blog—whether you do it under your own name as Tom does, or under a company’s banner as I do—is about building a brand. By brand I mean the personality that you want to project. Just as companies have brands in the marketplace, individuals have brands in the professional communities they inhabit. Companies and individuals want people to feel comfortable interacting with them. Building trust in the brand is the key. The process of building trust is mostly the same for corporate blogs and for individual blogs.
How should we evaluate the corporate blogs that do exist? Laura and I have come up with this list of criteria that we think the best corporate blogs should have. This might change as we start working through the list as we, like you, may learn a few things about what can and should be done with corporate blogs.
Companies face a tough challenge – probably the most difficult challenge in the blogging arena – to establish trust with readers. In my previous post on Hiding Controversial Information, I explained the need for companies to address controversy in order to engage readers. If they don’t address it, they abdicate the conversation about these topics to their competitors. However, getting the green light from management to address a controversy or some other negative messaging issue can be difficult, if not impossible.
Corporate blogging is rapidly becoming another way for companies to communicate with their customers and increase internal communication. Learn about the advantages and future of blogging and how to get started.
I wrote in a recent report, that companies should have a blogging policy to provide guidelines for employees who want to have blogs. This primarily relates to employee's personal blogs and lays out the guidelines of what the company expects. As expected, policies will vary greatly depending on company circumstance. Here are a few examples and also, my variation.
To date, ROI hasn't been applied to blogs. This is partly due to blogging recent introduction to the marketing mix. Many blogging experts have suggested calculating a blog ROI is impossible. As a professor, I teach students how to tie marketing to the bottom line. Calculating ROI for a blog should be no harder than calculating it for other marketing components. To place ROI measurements in context, you must first understand how blogs fulfill different business objectives.
Blogs are the lifeblood of the "social internet" and with around 60 million blogs currently in existence they provide a large proportion of the content available online. This gives them huge potential as a tool for companies to engage with an audience in a way that hasn't really been possible before, but very few businesses seem to be taking advantage of the phenomenon. Why is that?
The positive impact of blogs on corporate communication and the benefits of implementing both external and internal blogs, justifies blogs place in the corporate world. While blogs may have been developed for a social function and initially used and developed to assist amateurs publish their emotions and everyday experiences, the evolution of the blogosphere to include corporations, both internationally and domestically, guarantees there survival and utilization for many years.
A debate continues to rage about how important and influential media such as blogs, podcasts and social networking sites really are. At the heart of this debate is the question, Is the blogosphere really an appropriate place for executives and others in positions of power who have everything to lose?
Don't waste your money on a business blog (unless search engine marketing is an important piece of your overall marketing efforts and you're going to invest the time and effort into making it work).
Although most companies struggle to make their information visible on Google, at times companies want to do just the opposite: hide information about their company. However, if companies hide the controversial information, they give power to competitors or other groups to control the conversation about the topic. This dilemma seems like a darned-if-you-do, darned-if-you-don’t situation. If you don’t publish information about the topic, your readers might stumble onto information elsewhere for their education. That other information might not be the angle and slant you want to take. On the other hand, if you do publish information, you may invite your readers into areas of controversy that you would normally want to avoid. You may introduce your readers to all kinds of issues they never knew existed.
In early March, The New York Times ran a story with the headline "Wal-Mart enlists bloggers in PR campaign." While the story itself is of interest as an example of how some PR agencies increasingly see blogs as legitimate communication channels, it is of greater interest to look at what the Edelman PR agency did in this specific case acting on behalf of their client—what went right and, more important, what didn't.
Below is a list of 15 companies that really get corporate blogging and produce blogs that are informative, fascinating, and a joy to read even for people who aren’t die-hard fans of the company.
Blogger outreach has quickly become an integral part of many brands’ marketing efforts. The blogosphere enables interactive dialogue between bloggers and consumers, and blogger outreach opens the door for conversation between your brand, bloggers and consumers. For any company that is looking to leverage the blogosphere for your marketing or PR strategy, here are 5 benefits of blogger outreach.
For all the talk about corporate blogs, there still seems to be considerable debate about their value. As of early June, though, those questions should have been put to rest. General Motors illustrated just one of the benefits of blogs—bypassing the media and taking your message directly to the public—in its response to a column that appeared in The New York Times.
As social media continues to change the way we write and communicate with audiences, it is important to understand the functions, uses, and impacts of these technologies on our work as technical communicators. My short survey helped determine if and how blogs are being used as a professional tool within our field.
It can be very difficult to get an organization to accept corporate microblogging as a means of facilitating closer collaboration. However, while I am the first to say that changing an organization’s communications model can be a challenge, it’s not impossible. You and your team might be looking to a corporate microblogging platform to resolve some sort of communications issue. In this post we are going to take a look at how you can implement corporate microblogging for maximum benefit.