The Fear of Business Blogging

"Larger companies are faced with concerns that blogs could become a place for consumers to lash out, or a place that company secrets or dirty laundry might get leaked intentionally or unintentionally." – Kansas City Star, March 14, 2006

This quote is found in Tuesday’s Kansas City Star article, The Bottom Line on Blogging. It mentions two concerns. The first one is a crutch. The second should be addressed. The problem isn’t always the problem.

The first one really is a mask. If your customers are lashing out, they’re doing it whether you blog or not. When the phone was invented, did companies think they shouldn’t publish their phone number in case customers wanted to complain?

Engage in the conversation (good or bad) and you’ll create good will. If your service or product is worth complaining about – it’s going to happen whether you blog or not. You should at least be paying attention to blogs and what’s being said about your company. Respond to both positive and negative comments.

Doing otherwise is like sticking your fingers in your ears and screaming. I can’t picture a CEO or business owner running around their desk crying, "LA-LA-LA-LA, I’m not listening, LA-LA-LA-LA." So this isn’t the problem.

The second item can be addressed whether your company blogs internally, externally, or not at all. Craft some company blogging guidelines. There’s much more to be said about this, just not in this post. This isn’t the problem either. Most companies have communication guidelines and documents that employees must sign periodically. So this isn’t the problem either.

I think that most companies are still in the mindset that blogs are one of the following:

It’s a Cost Center: A blog site doesn’t cost as much as a web site – unless you’re getting it done by someone stuck on the tracks.

It’s a Fad: While blogs aren’t yet at critical mass, it’s well past fad stage. Getting a "dot.com" in the late 90s was a fad too, right?

It’s a Geek or Teen thing: Geeks are probably part of your customer base now. Teens will be soon. Get with the program.

We’re too busy trying to find new business: Here’s a suggestion…create a blog and become more findable.

What other excuses are out there? What’s yours?

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  • http://mediametamorphosis.blogspto.com Chuck T

    The biggest fear I hear from my clients is time. Most say they just don’t have it. My feeling has been if you’re trying to do a “thought leadership” campaign, then you should have a blog.
    That said, convincing my clients of that is still an up-hill battle.

  • http://www.mikesansone.com Mike Sansone

    Chuck – good point. Budgeting time to blog is something that must be done before a blog launch. If the blog isn’t sustained, it’s liek telling your customer you don’t have time to talk with them.
    How is the time issue overcome? That’s a larger conversation were’ about to bring out.

  • http://mediametamorphosis.blogspot.com Chuck T

    The time issue isn’t always overcome. My clients tend to be tech companies, so in some cases it’s very important to them to have a voice and they manage to find the time.
    If they just don’t see it as central, no amount of pushing will help. I have one client who comes to me regularly with stories that aren’t stories, things that I could never bring to reporters.
    I suggested that a blog is the right venue for this, and they laughed. I’d brought the subject up before and they rejected it.
    They have the stories, the venue, an audience that would be interested, but they just lack the desire to make it a priority.
    The joke of all that? A top member of management does have a blog, but does it as a personal thing and has let it lapse.

  • http://www.mikesansone.com Mike Sansone

    Great discussion Chuchk, and I hope we caneach extend it out in future posts…
    I agree that if a company has any crutch against blogging – they should probably not blog until they get more information.
    A push for blogging will lead to stale voice or static site.
    As you say, the company has to see enough benefits in having the conversation to make it among the priorities, and then they still have to budget their time.

  • http://www.PassportMentors.com Megan

    I enjoyed this article. I approached blogging several months ago to a group of entrepreneurs. You could almost here the moans and visualize the rolling of the eyes. Needles to say less then half picked up blogging and ran with it. Those who did had a increase in traffic, and have done well for their business. I wish entrepreuners would start to see the avenue that blogging presents t them. Until then I guess us bloggers can just enjoy the benefits.
    Great Read
    Megan Vaillancourt

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