Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Using a company blog to admit mistakes

Why do it? When a company admits to making mistakes, surely it just exposes weaknesses?

Now, I'm not going to discuss how a company should go about creating or maintaining a Company blog. There's enough information out there on the subject and I'll refer to the experts:
http://www.businessblogwire.com/2006/01/10_steps_to_creating_a_success.html
http://moblogsmoproblems.blogspot.com/2006/11/10-steps-to-starting-company-blog-new.html

Generally, humans get on best with other humans and relationships are created every day. However for an normal person, a company is often hard to have a personal relationship with(unless its a bad one). They may have a relationship with the brand or even with individuals within that company, but not many people 'enjoy' their dealings with the companies they need to exist in life these days (just ask how many people ring up a Customer Services department to tell them how much they like the company). Having a one-t0-one relationship means admitting (or being prepapred to admit) you're wrong, in fact that can strengthen the relationship.

However is really possible to create a company culture that admits its mistakes? Some think so and even encourage it!
http://blogbusinessworld.blogspot.com/2007/01/making-mistakes-admit-your-errors.html

Now a company blog is usually a place to put 'official' communications out in a more personal way. Whilst mostly it is an individual that writes the corporate blog, other times its a collection of PR individual's trying to create the impression that there's a single person there. For example, are we really to believe that this is really Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook founder? http://blog.facebook.com/blog.php?blog_id=company&blogger=4
Here the blog has primarily been used for admitting mistakes (newsfeed response and beacon being the obvious topics).

Blogging your mistakes does not necessarily turn everyone against you. Often honestly can be the best policy. Recently Moo, a London-based photo site, had a disc issue which took their site down for a period of time. They blogged about it here:
http://www.moo.com/blog/2007/11/29/blimey-a-non-happy-day-at-moo/
The feedback to this honesty has been mostly favourable.
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