When used appropriately, corporate blogging can help a company to build its brand while reaching readers from around the world. However, the same blog that helps to improve the company brand can also damage the reputation of the company. The company should consider the disadvantages of corporate blogging before they embark on opening one.
There have been cases of employees who have resorted to posting comments to air their grievances. The company can suffer great damage from aggrieved employees who chose the blog as their outlet. There have been many cases around the world of employees who were fired or got penalized for posting comments on the company blog. Many employers are wary of blogs due to this factor.
There is a thin line between employer rights and free speech. Many executives do not trust blogs as they see them as a potential source of problems. Another disadvantage of corporate blogging is the issue of negative feedback. Many people have used blogs to make disparaging comments and write negative reviews about companies.
A disgruntled customer has the potential of causing a real headache for the brand. Every negative comment will have consequences that will affect the business of the company. Whether or not the comments are substantiated, there are always those who will believe what they read. Corporate blogs can open up all sorts of legal issues.
A comment made by an employee over the blog can be considered to be libel. If a reader decides that a certain comment caused him harm, he can decide to sue the company. The blogs can also be used to give away company secrets. The issue of what is private and what goes to print can sometimes be blurred.
How to minimize problems
It is important for the company to have policies in place, which act as guidelines to be followed by all the employees. Everything that appears on the blog should be sanctioned. Employees should know the consequences of writing comments that cause harm to the company. Issues that are considered company secrets should be off-limits for the blog.
The company should have a policy where they have a disclaimer against any comments made by the employees. The disclaimer should further point out that the comments are the opinion of the employee and do not represent the views of the company. On the issue of negative comments, the company should come up with a response policy which all the bloggers should adhere to.
The company should realize that you cannot control what the readers say or write, take everything as an opportunity to improve and offer prompt responses to genuine issues raised by customers.
Conclusion Corporate blogs have their advantages and disadvantages, but generally, the way the company responds to issues will determine the success of the blog.
The company should control the content appearing on the blogs to protect the company and safeguard trade secrets. The blog should not, however, be seen as being too ‘corporate’ as this will put off potential readers.