Thursday 3 May 2012

Corporate Blogging Etiquette

Thursday 3 May 2012 06:53

Since writing the first few blog entries for Kadople, I’ve become conscious of the need to keep a certain level of appropriateness in my posts. Should I blog about stuff I’m working on, what I had for breakfast, the people who irritated me today, people whom I irritated? And so on…

So I did some googling, and quickly came up with this great article from Michael Hyatt entitled Thomas Nelson Corporate Blogging Guidelines, which outlines about 10 rules for a corporate blogger. I think the article is geared towards large corporations rather than small startups, but I particularly like this rule:

Keep secrets. Do not disclose sensitive, proprietary, confidential, or financial information about the Company, other than what is publicly available in our corporate press releases. This includes revenues, profits, forecasts, and other financial information related to specific authors, brands, products, product lines, customers, operating units, etc. Again, if in doubt, check with your supervisor before posting this type of information.

So I guess this means I won’t be posting screen shots of the apps I’m currently working on. We’ll see.

Not sure about this one:

Own your content. Employee blog sites are not Company communications...

Well, unless you want it to be. There’s a pattern I’ve observed from following blogs of corporate CEOs and CTOs, more often than not, that they purposely keep their blog site separate from the company web site. I don’t know why that is, but perhaps this partly explains it:

…your blog entries legally belong to you. They represent your thoughts and opinions. You may want to remind your readers of this fact by including the following disclaimer on your site:

The posts on this blog are provided ‘as is’ with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.”

You assume full responsibility and liability for all actions arising from your posts. We also encourage you to put a copyright notice on your site in your name (e.g., “© 2009, John Smith”).

At this point in time, I don’t see a need to personally brand myself as distinct from my child (my company). On the contrary in fact, I want this to be the voice of my child, at least while it is still in its infancy.

So what’s appropriate corporate blogging etiquette for a young company? I’ll continue searching. Or, perhaps as I continue writing, a pattern will emerge as to what’s appropriate and what’s not. We’ll wait and see.


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