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.
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.
Whether you're grappling with how to reach out to bloggers discussing your industry or contemplating creating a corporate blog, it's vital for you as a communicator to understand what's being said about your company in cyberspace—and how to play an active role in the dialog.
The influence of bloggers and their readers has erupted into campaigns that have affected large, well-known companies and brands—Wal-Mart, Kryptonite Locks, Land Rover, Sony. Smaller firms could suffer even more, like the New York camera retailer that went out of business. Don't let this happen to your organization.