Corporate Blogging and Sensitive Information

Ralph DeFrangesco

Even the best of intentions can have bad repercussions. Corporate blogging is a very powerful sales and marketing tool, but it could put your company at risk. I am not so concerned about the blogging software or server the software runs on as much as I am about the content of the posts. In most cases, the IT department has the former well in hand. But when it comes to protecting the potentially sensitive data offered to the world on this type of platform, it's a group effort. Otherwise, company secrets could be given away, product release schedules compromised or forward-looking information accidently shared.


Blogging is a great way to stay in touch with your customers. Many corporations have blogs set up to service their customers' needs, including Intel, IBM, Cisco, EMC and the list goes on.


Corporations that want to set up blogging sites should take care and note -- at a minimum -- the following when setting up a company blog site:


1. Create a strategy that includes goals and objectives.


2. Take a team approach. People from marketing, sales, public relations, technology and senior management should all be represented.


3. Remember it's a blog, not a Web site. Don't just push product release and sales information. Your customers can get that off of your site. Interact with your customers. They have questions and you are the expert. Take time to answer them.


4. Appoint reliable, well qualified people to do the blogging. Train them on how to blog.


5. Your acceptable use policy should be updated to include a clause that employees will not participate in your company blog unless asked to do so. This should stop most employees from adding their own thoughts to your corporate posts.


6. Create an editing department to edit and review all posts.


7. Create quantitative measurements such as number of comments, RSS feeds, views, subscriptions, and number of links to your site.


Blogging is a powerful way to build a community that brings together your customers with your internal resources. It can be a very rewarding experience in which you and your customers grow and learn together or a negative experience that finds your organization in multiple lawsuits.

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