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Constructing a Corporate Blogging Policy

July 3, 2009

As social media director, VP of Marketing or PR, you have worked tirelessly to build up a case for Social media—corporate and employee blogging in particular. You’ve listened to the criticisms and excuses for not getting on board. But your persistence has paid off, and you have received the okay, but on the condition that you set a standard blogging policy.

What the heck, do I do now? You ask yourself, not realizing that you had not thought this part through.  Have no fear. I am going to give you the some advice to help you get started in creating a darn good corporate blogging policy. In fact, it’s going to be so good, people will ask you for advice! So prepare to collect your consultation fees!

Although employee blogging is strictly voluntary in most companies, guidelines will help you set ongoing standards, and employees can go into this with a respectful and knowledgeable understanding of what is expected, regardless to whether they are writing for the company or personally.  As the manager in your field you or whoever you designate must still manage and monitor your brand. Typically, the public relations dept. will be the ones doing the monitoring, but not all companies have the luxury. Nevertheless, you or the person in charge of this must be prepared to respond to any potentially negative inquires or postings. There are plenty of sites and software that will allow you to monitor what is being said over the internet. A free one is from Google called Google Alerts. I personally use this for most things that I monitor.  However, to no longer delay, here are the top things that you should include in your corporate blogging policy.

  1. Employee Bloggers (EBs) should create disclaimer with a statement that mentions that they are an employee of XYZ company and the views that they express are theirs and do not represent the views of the company.
  2. EBs should inform their immediate supervisor, more preferably, the director of the respective area (be it public relations or marketing), that they will be mentioning the company from time to time. So, there will not be any surprises in the future.
  3. You should respect their point of view if you go to the site to check out its content. However, you should comment on their blogs especially if something is leaning toward the negative end of the communications spectrum.  Periodically reading  and commenting on their blog will not only foster respectful communication, but let the employee know that you are listening and value their point of view.
  4. EBs should not share information that is restricted, rumors, company secrets, or anything that might give the competitor an advantage. For instance, the number of patients, referrals, products sold,  number of employees, attrition rates, company strategies, or anything not publicly released through the established PR process.
  5. Company logos should not be placed on the website without out permission from the company.
  6. EBs should write respectfully about the company and any employees or consultants. You should not include that copyrighted material, unfounded accusations, or misrepresentations, or statements   that are viewed unfavorably by the company. This should result in disciplinary action and/or termination.  Encourage EBs to write knowledgeably, accurately, and professionally when referring to the company because there will be opinions being formed about your company and its employees.
  7. Should the media contact the EB, he or she should inform the media that he or she is not authorized to speak or email on behalf of the company, and the media should direct all questions to your public relations/marketing department. Public relations managers should be sure to put a statement in their online media kits that states that you have EBs and they are not authorized to speak on behalf of the company and refer them to whom one should direct questions.

In sum, the major components of a corporate blogging policy should include clauses that ensure confidentiality, company rights, respect of rights and privacy of insider information, competitive disadvantage, a legal liability, media direction. These are some of the most important things that you should add into the corporate blogging policy.  You should extrapolate and tailor the information to the fit your company. This policy should be posted on the corporate website and distributed to each employee. Remember to be eco-friendly and use email!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2009 1:46 am

    Nice!

  2. La Tron permalink*
    July 11, 2009 1:53 pm

    Thanks Flashplayer!

  3. October 5, 2009 7:40 pm

    Thanks Latron, some interesting points

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