Article on PR People and blogs

Micro Persuasion has re-posted an interesting article from a public-relations industry newsletter: It’s Time to Take Blogs Seriously — and Maybe to Develop One of Your Own.

Some highlights:

“To those people who still think that blogs are ‘loose cannons,’ I’d say that they should embrace the revolution, or become cannon fodder,” says [Shift Communications principal Todd] Defren.

Some of the rules [Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble] suggests in his manifesto should be followed by anyone who wants to run a corporate weblog:

  • Tell the truth
  • Post fast on good news or bad
  • Use a human voice
  • Have a thick skin
  • If you screw up, acknowledge it
  • If you don’t have the answers, say so
  • Never lie
  • Never hide information
  • Link to your competitors and be nice to them

“The empowering nature of the Internet will allow users to blog with or without corporate permission,” Defren says. “The blogger who is encouraged with tools, freedom, and a few simple rules-of-the-road becomes a valuable advocate for the company. The blogger whose ambitions are repudiated simply sets up shop at home and spends their free time gossiping about the company’s embarrassing hiccups.”

All sounds like good advice — and much nicer for those of us on the receiving end of their messages than the alternative “always be sincere, whether you mean it or not” line we sometimes get.