The UW E-Business Consortium’s Corporate Weblogging Best Practices is a must for any firm or business that has a blog or is thinking about starting one. Actually, it’s worthwhile for any firm or business wanting to protect its reputation in the blogosphere.
This paper is intended for various audiences including executives faced with the decision of whether or not to implement blogging at their company, human resources professionals who will need to handle blogging-related incidents involving company employees, and marketers looking for ways to leverage blogs without damaging the organization’s credibility in the fickle “blogosphere.”
The guide describes the types of blogs (internal v external), offers ten best practice tips, and provides good and bad case studies. I think that the latter were the most instructive. Take, for example, the Mazda debacle. The car company created a fake blog promoting the car supposedly from a 23 year old car enthusiast. Other bloggers quickly called the blog into question and it was taken down within hours, but not before Mazda’s reputation was severely damaged. According the UW E-Business report, Mazda broke the first rule of blogging: being open and honest.
Perhaps more troubling is the Kryptonite example, not because of what the corporation did, but what they didn’t do. When bloggers discovered that the bike locks could be picked with a pen, news traveled fast. Because Kryptonite had no staff who monitored its online reputation, reaction from the company was slow and full of denials.
Kryptonite was unprepared for the media, tried to cover their mistakes, and initially denied their shortcomings. In addition to the 10 million dollar expense of replacing their faulty bike locks, the company suffered humiliation on the Internet as bloggers openly mocked the company’s practices and policies.
The report concludes with tips on getting started, a blog glossary, and examples of blogs.