Thursday, July 23, 2009

Corporate Blogging Policy

If anyone were to ask me to write a corporate blogging policy, then this would be it: "Disclose or disclaim but don't stay silent".

Disclosure is very important since it helps the reader make up their own mind. It helps them judge the intent behind the authors' words.

Here is the best example of disclosure I have ever seen. It was published in the Dear Mary section of the The Spectator magazine where readers can ask for help from Mary Killen to solve their problems. Someone wrote in to ask what to do when the person in front of you in an aeroplane reclines their seat leaving you no space of your own. A fellow reader offered this advice:

"May I suggest you advise J.B. of London N1 that next time he is travelling long-haul he should fly Cathay Pacific, whose economy-class seats have a rigid back-shell which does not recline into the space of the passenger behind. The recline is achieved by the seat ingeniously sliding forward instead. Cathay Pacific also has four flights daily from London to Hong Kong, and up to two daily onward flights to New Zealand — all at very competitive fares! I apologise for the commercial, but we’ve gone to great trouble to prevent just the problem JB complains of, and I can’t resist the opportunity to point this out. The problem you could solve for me is the collapse of air-travel demand! Any bright ideas?

T.T., Cathay Pacific"

Even though this is an advert for Cathay Pacific, the full disclosure by T.T. lets you make up your own mind whether to accept it or not. There is no hidden agenda and the facts speak for themselves.

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