Negative comments still strike fear into corporate marketers
It only took a half-hour before someone brought up a negative factor of blogging in the corporate realm - the topic of negative comments on corporate weblogs and how to handle them. I won't post the whole discussion here, but at the end of the day there's this mentality that negative comments about us can only hurt us. However, if we're transparent in our communication, honest in our information and act with integrity, we've got a firmer platform than if we were coming off of a stricly 'marketing speak' play.
A good dialogue, something that we hope to espouse with a blog, starts with an open and honest exchange between the author and the audience. This will not always be a primrose path, but rather is a winding road with plenty of ups and downs along the way.
For those of you that are Jack Welch fans, in his latest book "Winning" Jack addresses the topic of crisis communication head on (which is the mode that most companies typically fall into when they see a negative comment on their blog). If you've not read, it's worth a read for the simplicity in his strategy. Excellent examples from GE and Johnson & Johnson provide a backdrop for a strategy that any corporate blogger could adapt and experience success.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to accountability, integrity, humility, transparency, honesty and a genuine deep concern for your customer. If yours is a company that can stomach blogging, these are traits that you've likely got somewhere in your corporate culture.
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