How much control is right for a B2B blog?

By January 27, 2010E-Rep, Social Media

There is no doubt in my mind that all B2B companies need blogs at the core of their E-Rep initiative and marketing strategy.  That said, even I have some concerns about loose cannons and lousy writers.  My current thinking follows.  What do you think?

Loose Cannons:

Some of your employees are going to blog and there’s nothing you can do to stop them.  In this situation, I’d suggest:

  • Offering to host their blog on the corporate site
  • Giving them total editorial control.  (If you don’t, they’ll set up their own blog elsewhere and bash you for being overbearing and not willing to trust a valuable employee.)
  • Pointing out a few things:
    • The free blog sites are amateurish; corporate support instantly elevates the blogger’s credibility
    • The corporate site and the employee’s blog will complement each other for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) making both more visible and findable.
    • To maintain the win/win, the blogger needs to act and write in his/her normal professional manner
  • Recognizing that this move sends a clear message to the world that your company is brimming with thought leaders

Lousy Writers:

For the most part, writing skills are abysmal.  This includes people who have truly valuable and important messages and information in their heads.  For example, I know some brilliant engineers whose writing is painfully B-O-R-I-N-G and some amazingly articulate sales reps who become totally unintelligible in writing.  Here’s how I’d handle it:

  • Call a spade a spade & as diplomatically as possible tell them they need some editorial help to avoid embarrassing themselves
  • Set up an “Our Brilliant Employees Insights” blog (For sure you’ll need a better name for it than that…)
  • Assign an editor who can do clean-up work on any messy prose, grammar, punctuation, etc.
  • Invite employees to share their valuable insights through this editor
  • Make it known that what you’d really like is to have a whole series of employee blogs to showcase the awesome intellectual horsepower in your company

Am I on the right track here?  Comment below to straighten me out!

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