Five things that communicators should do about blogging

04 November 2005

At our IPRA Summit workshop on blogging yesterday, we had a great turnout and some good questions. But my sense is that awareness amongst communicators in UK companies still isn’t as high as we’d like to think it is.

I thought I’d share the five things that I told the audience they should do:

  1. Listen
    You cannot tell your CEO whether blogs are important to your business or not if you’re not actively listening to all the conversations taking place. The tools to listen are well developed (and some are even free), so there’s no excuse. But remember, monitoring does not equal listening.
  2. Understand
    You need to understand what you are listening to in order to make any sense of it. You also need to understand who you are listening to, what motivates them and who listens to them. You also need to understand the risks and rewards of engaging with them, and how best to do it.
  3. Expand your vocabulary
    The communications business already has its own language. So whilst a lot of the words you hear in connection with blogging are new and unfamiliar, you need to add them to your vocabularly as quickly as possible – and understand what they mean.
  4. Join the conversation
    There are rewards to be reaped from joining the conversation, and doing so is a statement of your desire to be authentic. But do it advisedly – the blogosphere can be intolerant towards those who don’t comply with the de facto conventions. If you want to get your business blogging, consider starting inside the organisation. Every company needs specific guidelines for employees – do not rely on existing IT policies.
  5. Prepare for a crisis
    Sooner or later, someone will say something negative about your company on a blog. That’s good – it means they care. Use it as an opportunity to learn. A crisis doesn’t always damage your reputation – responding badly does.

I’d be interested in your views.

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2 Responses to “Five things that communicators should do about blogging”

  1. sevtap

    I REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR BLOG ABOUT COMMUNICATION IN A BLOG.AS A STUDENT TAKING THE MANAGEMENT COMMUNICATION CLASS I CAN SAY THAT COMMUNICATION IS LIKE ACTING ON A STAGE AND TO ACT YOU SHOULD KNOW THE CONTEX OF YOUR PLAY. SO,THIS MEANS BEING READY IN ANY WAY…AND TRYING TO DO YOUR BEST.COMMUNICATION IS ALSO PERCEPTION AND THE WAY HOW PEOPLE PERCEIVE THE BLOG IS REALLY VERY IMPORTANT.

  2. Easton Ellsworth

    Joining the conversation can be harder than it sounds. Businesses should be careful to establish a professional, savvy persona as they enter the blogosphere. No pretenses, no lies – just honest, "this is who we are" talk. That will help companies avoid the wrath of bloggers who hate feeling that a corporate blog is "fake." Joining the online conversation is like joining a "real-world" chat: you should start by listening, speak carefully, and try to leave a good impression on others. Actually, the <i>best</i> thing you can do is strive to make the conversation meaningful and fruitful – even uplifting! – for those with whom you converse. Doing so will always come back to bless you later.

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