Friday, December 22, 2006
Corporate blogging supports Christmas retail and sometimes bumps press releases
Many companies to encourage their own managers to create “corporate blogs” rather than using just formal press releases in a conventional “professional” manner. Look at http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan and http://www.hp.com/blogs/marcello . In 2004 there was a brief legal scuffle instigated by hp over Sun’s blog. The article is Amy Joyce, March 19, 2005 The Washington Post, “More PR Than No-Holds-Barred On Bosses’ Corporate Blogs; Most Corporate Bloggers Don’t Deviate from Company Line.”
Jen Haberkorn has an article in the Dec 21, 2006 Washington Times, "Retailers get personal with blogs from inside," here. Sometimes, as with Wal-Mart, these blogs have been written even by low-level employees. This has been particularly effective during the Christmas season, and in 2006 blogs have become important for the first time.
Because of possible conflicts, I would think that companies should not ask lower-level employees to user their own names when blogging in behalf of their employers. In some jobs, I believe that gradually employers will want to manager their associates' contact with the public space through the web, but this is appropriate mainly when associates use their own names or identities in a public manner in behalf of the company.
Nancy Flynn has a lot of discussion of the legal issues for corporate blogs in her 2006 AMA book, Blog Rules, review here.
The Washington Times tech-watch on April 24, 2006 encouraged job seekers to study blogs about companies that they apply to (especially Microsoft). A state employee in North Carolina started a blog about Wal-Mart's environmental violations, at this link.