Are you blogging for your business? Are you thinking about letting other employees blog with you?
There are inherent risks in company-wide blogging that include employees accidentally revealing company secrets or voicing an opinion that is not in keeping with the corporate culture and guidelines. While blogging can be a useful marketing tool for your company and by adding employee voices to the mix you can create a richer resource, you need to take precautions before you add bloggers to your blog.
1. Establish Guidelines.
You need to put blogging rules into writing beyond just “blog responsibly.” Specify what is confidential, illustrate the appropriate tone and content of their posts, and be clear about the blog goals.
2. Spell Out Consequences.
Let employees know what will happen if they blog inappropriately on the company blog. Will you employ a three strikes and you’re off the blog policy? When could a blog post get an employee fired?
3. Describe the Publishing Process
Can employees blog at will and do they have the power to publish their posts? Or is there an editorial process and approval process in place. Outline how a post goes from the employee to the blog. And if a blog post is deemed inappropriate, how will the employee be notified? Who has the power to remove posts?
4. Define Who is Liable
Your company can shield the employee from liability to varying degrees. Speak with a lawyer to see what the liability issues might be regarding your blog and employees blogging. Then make a business decision on how much employees will be protected and specify this in your guidelines.
5. Specify Reach.
Decide if your company is going to develop guidelines just for your company blog or for any blogging employees are doing, even on their off hours. Some companies take the stance that what you do away from the office could still be a reflection of the company, therefore, their personal blogs - particularly if they talk about their job - could affect their employment. This is something you must consult a lawyer about before implementing.
Without rules, guidelines and clear goals, company blogs can run amuck. A business blog is all about your company - so business rules must apply.
What other business blogging issues are you encountering? Talk about it here!
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