There’s an interesting conversation going on at MarketingProfs Daily Fix about what should come first: the policy or the blog?
“Should a marketer simply start blogging or wait instead until all of the blogging policies and procedures are established before beginning? Although the absolute answer is that it depends on the organization, the industry, the product or service, I suggest strongly that the blog come before the policy.”
I think that is very well put, especially by adding the notion that it does depend on the organization or product, but basically saying that you should just go and try for yourself. It’s how I started little over 2 years ago and I it really is the only way to really understand what this is all about. I thought I knew as well, but the experience learnt me different.
Stephen Denny adds to the conversation by saying the policy should definitely come first, and I see his point. but too many people use this lack of clarity, this lack of rules as a reason for not trying out for themselves. And that’s my main reason why I wouldn’t focus on the policy first. Ideally you have a small guideline, but like Cam comments: common sense should apply. I couldn’t agree more, remember my chapter in the ‘Age of Conversation‘: you get a long way with common sense.
Also don’t forget that engagement with social media already starts by reading, leaving comments, … so there really is not that much reason not to try this out for yourself today. Congrats C.B. for your first post at Daily Fix – it’s a really good one ;)
“too many people use this lack of clarity, this lack of rules as a reason for not trying out for themselves. And that’s my main reason why I wouldn’t focus on the policy first. Ideally you have a small guideline, but like Cam comments: common sense should apply. I couldn’t agree more, remember my chapter in the ‘Age of Conversation‘: you get a long way with common sense.”
Exactly. I think it’s best to go with initial guidelines, then as everyone gets up to speed on blogging and what the space is all about, then come in with something closer to a policy.
Kris: my takeaway from your point above (and the conversation at The Fix) is that many believe it is best to launch first without consideration for role definition, an approval process, an escalation process; if this is so, I’d predict that the bricks of reality will soon come through the windshield of your initiative.
Mack’s reference to “initial guidelines” and Cam’s reference to “common sense” may encompass the points I’ve listed above; if they do, then we’re all in agreement.
This potential disconnect — the “we don’t want rules, we just want to play” mentality versus the “let’s build a new bureaucracy before we start” — is why so many companies *don’t* get into blogging. Unless you understand the rammifications of what you’re doing, you’re being irresponsible with the company’s car keys.
Give blogging the respect you’d give PR, or advertising, or any outbound communication. Put basic controls in place — who says what, what happens when someone complains, who needs to approve (or not), etc. — then test away.
Kris, thanks for amplifying this discussion and adding your experience – which is similar to mine!