Blogs present many opportunities for corporate environments.
- A blog can be a resource for different departments to share their stories.
- C- suite executives position themselves as opinion leaders with the use of blogs.
- Blogs are used as an avenue for super fans of products and services to share their love for the product.
- Encouraging guest bloggers to participate helps elevate the conversation on the site.
Many businesses rushed in to join the new blogging phenomenon.
They lacked a plan and over time abandoned the venture.
One reason was they underestimated the time commitment. A business blog needs to have fresh material and this means frequent updates. The way the audience is addressed takes time to shape.
Each post gives clues of your audiences’ interest. Audiences aren’t built overnight and their trust isn’t easily attained.
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Many times new cultural trends occur and businesses are left with the question of whether or not they should participate. We live in an era where technology is rapidly advancing and new gadgets are constantly altered for upgrades. So, when blogs were introduced, businesses had to determine where and how to use this new resource in order for them to become a viable profit generator. You can think of it as giving someone a Rubik cube for the first time and watching them fiddle with it for awhile.
Businesses weren’t sure how to develop a strategy, and they were concerned of about the legal consequences. Others opted not to participate because they considered it a fad.
The difference between a business blog and a regular blog is that the business audience has a higher value and the blog has a potential to create a revenue stream.
As businesses soon figured out how blogging worked for them. They discovered that it gave a sense of individualism, a means to further differentiate itself from its competitors and a way to reach out to the public.
Blogging soon seeped into the culture of corporate America and found a home in marketing departments, which have used it to reach out to customers. Corporate companies have even used blogs internally as another alternative to sending out mass emails. Blogs even replaced those interdepartmental corkboards in break rooms that posted company events and employee news. Some small businesses have even used them as the main page on their website.
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Blogs have many rewards, but they also have some risk. Some people get a little too comfortable expressing their opinion on a blog. When this occurs in a business environment, the consequences become disastrous. Other risks include sharing too much information, such as financial, security, trade secrets and more.
Don’t worry… It is possible to avoid these problems from creeping up on you. Nancy Flynn, author of Blog Rules:A Business Guide to Managing Policy, Public Relations, and Legal Issues shares some helpful tips her book. Check out the following three suggestions that help you to reduce legal risks.
1.First, establish a blog policy and have it address items such as:
- The type of language that is not allowed
- Topics that are confidential
- Items that are copyright
- How comments are monitored
- Disciplinary action taken for not following the rules
2. Next, share this policy when you train employees, so they understand the risk, rules and responsibilities of blogging.
3. Finally, find ways to enforce the policy.
- Use a tool to help block or ban inappropriate content
- Subscribe to blog search engines like Technocrati to help monitor what’s said about the company in the blogsphere
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