Common Courtesies in Corporate Blogging

Lora Bentley
Slide Show

Etiquette Essentials for the Corporate Blogger


I've been talking to several different experts lately about what employers who are reviewing their corporate blogging/social networking policies should consider. And they've all said different things.


Not surprisingly, the business managers are concerned about staying ahead in the game, so they say, "Monitor what's posted to make sure confidential or proprietary information is not leaked." Marketing folks want to protect the company's brand and reputation, so they suggest prohibiting employees from speaking negatively about the company or its products, or posting anything that would cast the company in a negative light. And the attorneys are obviously most concerned with limiting the company's liability. They say things like "Be careful when you're screening prospective employees using social media sites," and "Monitor what employees post to guard against liability for slander or discrimination."


It all makes perfect sense, and they're all valid concerns, but it occurs to me that in all the dos and don'ts we may have forgotten the basics of common courtesy. And that's what John Cass, head of digital marketing at Pace Communications, focused on when I talked to him a few weeks ago. His list of corporate blogging guidelines includes these tips, among others:

  • Check in with clients and partners before you write about them.
  • Respect copyright and fair use.
  • Respect your audience.
  • Correct mistakes.


With regard to copyright and fair use, Cass explains:

Use short excerpts when quoting material from [other]sources; provide a link to any Web material.

And even if a client or partner has granted permission to be written about in the past, ask them again if you want to write about them again.


It's not too much to ask for courtesy - even in today's world.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jul 1, 2010 2:29 PM JRC JRC  says:

This very brief article leaves much to be desired of it.  Out of so many things  that could have been told about fair use and blogging courtesy, you limit the list to only four brief comments that look like a brainstorming draft.

We all know about courtesy but not everybody know what does that mean and which words or phrases to use or not to.  Your article is missing real life examples among much more information.

I decided to take a look at it because by reading the title it would seem like there is something to learn from it but this article is not helpful at all. 

Please write longer articles that are of real use to the blogging community next time.

Jun 29, 2011 7:29 PM Rebecca Staton-Reinstein Rebecca Staton-Reinstein  says:

Good post. Common courtesy like common sense is all to uncommon. I think your points are critical and should be read by every blogger, not just corporate ones. The problem with all this instant communication via electrons is that it's easy to hit 'send' or 'post' without thinking. In real life conversations, we often reconsider how we phrase things and observe the response of the other person. When blogging and tweeting...not so much. Thanks for reminding us.


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