It probably seems as if I only review crime novels and books about soccer. But I’m much more versatile than that. I also review…wait for it…books about blogs!
I’m currently reading Blog Rules: A Business Guide to Managing Policy, Public Relations, and Legal Issues, by Nancy Flynn (AMACOM), which is a lot sexier than it sounds. Wait, no it isn’t. It’s pretty dry stuff. But, given the exponentially multiplying potential for exposure that businesses face – from e-mail to instant messaging to blogs – some dry books like this are going to be necessary if you’re one of the suits.
Blog Rule #4: It’s the casual, conversational, anything-goes nature of the blog that makes it both so appealing to blog writers and readers – and so potentially dangerous to business.
As a blog writer, I am much more in favor of anything-goes, but I understand that people with money to protect have different priorities. In neatly ordered chapters, with plenty of recaps and action plans, Flynn helps readers decide first of all of blogging can benefit their business, and if so, how to do it in a way that’s safe for business.
My favorite part so far is when she suggests creating a blog management team that includes some or all of the following: blog czar, senior executive, legal counsel and compliance officer, records manager, human resources manager, chief information officer, public relations manager, customer service manager, and training professional. Nothing like a nine-person team to keep things spontaneous!
To be fair, Flynn acknowledges repeatedly that businesses need to make sure their blogs offer some real personality if they want to make meaningful contact with their customers. I think that the words “management team” are anathema to the concept of “personality,” but on the other hand, some corporations have found a way to make it work. Scobleizer, for example.
It’s kind of fun these days, watching kids who barely shave create trends that start huge corporations running to catch up. As soon as there are enough best practices and policies and procedures for corporations to feel comfortable with blogs, the next innovation will hit. How will we manage the employees who choose to stream holograms from their cubicles?