In a blog usually devoted to issues related to technical writing, Tom Johnson (I'd Rather be Writing) has some interesting and unusual advice for people who write for corporate blogs.
"If you’re starting a corporate blog, you’d be well off with a little mommy blogger training to break you in. After living with a mommy blogger, you’ll more naturally embrace transparency, skip any attempts at censorship, and become accustomed to the occasional distorted portrayal of what you say and do."
Although living with a mommy blogger may not be feasible for everyone, Tim's further advice for corporate bloggers is spot on.
"Corporate bloggers, listen up. When you embrace transparency and write with an honest voice, at times people will take jabs at you. They will quote you — sometimes out of context. They may portray you in ways that make you cringe. Don’t go ballistic. Allow people to have the views they do, without letting your stomach twist into knots. It all passes like water under a bridge anyway."
In my travels across the blogosphere I've come across the same advice in a variety of forms, but it always boils down to the same thing: if you're writing a corporate blog you have to keep it honest. It may not be comfortable, but don't count on being able to get away for long with anything else.
... View more
Scott, you raise some interesting points, too. First, for those who don't know the term, "flog" is short for fake blog and refers to blogs that appear to be real, but that are actually ghostwritten marketing tools. Here's a link to the Wikipedia article. And you'll find a good discussion about disclosure policies (often the sticking point for flogs) here. To me, there are two central questions: do you you blog about your company and products? And if you do, how do you keep from coming across as just another corporate flack-meister?
... View more
My last blog post, here, was about our new blog features. I worked with the new blogs as they were being developed and was very excited (I still am) about the improvements we've made. So far, so good. To provide more details about the new features I extracted some descriptions I wrote for the product's release notes and revised them a bit for the blog article. That's when the questions started swirling around the office. Was it authentic? Had I gone over to the dark side (otherwise known as marketing)? Opinions were divided.
So I'll ask you folks what you think. Was it useful? Did you feel like you were being sold to? Since I plan to spend a lot of time writing about our products in the future (after all, that's what I do for a living), I'd like you to help me find the right balance between my natural enthusiasm and the proper demeanor for a corporate blogger. It's a relevant question that I suspect many of you will be facing in your own communities. How do you spread the word about your products and still keep it real?
Post your comments and share your thoughts!
Message Edited by SusanM on 09-18-2008 05:42 PM
... View more