October 14th, 2016
The casual nature of blogging can result in employees inadvertently giving out confidential information, breaking the law, or embarrassing your company. To help avoid problems, set up guidelines on appropriate content. Here are some tips:
- Employee behaviour that is inappropriate in other situations and is included in your employee manual should be banned from a blog. If employees have questions about content, they should consult with their managers.
- Employees should identify themselves in blogs and make it clear they speak for themselves, not for the company.
- Bloggers should get permission to use company trademarks and reproduce company material.
- Avoid ethnic slurs, personal insults, profanity and vulgarity, as well as sensitive topics such as politics and religion.
- Bloggers must respect the company’s confidentiality, as well as proprietary and financial information, customers, partners, suppliers and competitors.
- Bloggers should accept the fact that occasionally the company might bar certain topics for confidentiality or legal reasons.
Consult with your legal counsel to ensure that your guidelines don’t violate laws.
Blogging has protocols. Here’s a list of mistakes to avoid:
No RSS feed. Many readers access blogs through RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds rather than actually visiting the blog. This is standard procedure and is important in picking up more regular readers.
Comment space. If you don’t let readers leave comments, you send the message that you aren’t interested in their opinions.
Infrequent updating. This not only keeps the search engines away, it can bore readers and cause them not to come back.
No links. Blogging is about sharing and communicating. Linking shows you are involved in the community and gives your readers a chance to read content you like.
No contact information. Readers may not want to leave a comment on your blog, but they may want to contact you. Leave an e-mail address or set up a contact page.