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Corporate America Still Schizo About Blogging

What's a poor corporate executive to do?

First Business Week ran a highly-favorable cover story entitled "Blogs Will Change Your Business." Their advice: "Your customers and rivals are figuring blogs out. Our advice: Catch up ... or catch you later."

Then Forbes countered with a surprisingly-histrionic cover story entitled "Attack of the Blogs." Their advice? Be prepared to fight back, because blogs can "destroy brands and wreck lives."

Now, reports Jane Genova, Harvard Business School has weighed in with its endorsement (albeit with caveats) of corporate blogging. The smartest advice from Harvard? They quote Debbie Weil: "Don't let the PR department write your blogs. Bloggers will sniff it out, and when they do, you will lose all credibility."

Why all this schizoid corporate hesitancy about blogging? It's because blogging really isn't for the faint of heart or the control freak. In fact, blogging forces companies to throw out many of the traditional ways they have managed not only their public affairs but their marketing and product development functions as well -- not least by giving customers a far more powerful and direct voice in enterprise decision-making than has ever been the case before.

That's enough to make any CEO reach for his or her anxiety meds.


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I view blogging as a medium almost like the print industry. The caveat is that it gives the public allot of freedom. Freedom to publish ideas, thoughts, opinions, news, and comments. It's not only blogs it's the internet that has changed allot of this. Look at sites like Indy Media for example.

So you'll have your corporate propagandists and you'll have your political propagandists from all sides too. But, you'll also find the truth and real news. You'll also find people doing something Thomas Paine would be proud of, that is dissent which should lead to activism and I think it will more and more.


Hope you're well.

I'm not sure HBS has weighed in per se, the article in question is from the Harvard Management Communication Newsletter.

I've attached a link to the full text. http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item.jhtml?id=5111&t;=technology&iss;=y

Michael Wiley

The newsletter is published by HBS, so I assumed it was its voice. Is that not true?

And thanks also for your comment, Jason. I'd only add to your thoughts the no0tion that blogging is also a "transmission belt" between a company and its customers. Or at least it should be. And Michael Wiley is one who knows.

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