It’s big in the business world and even bigger when it comes to blogging. Actually, anything that’s new usually has some fear associated with it. There are always the scenarios running through our minds when we think of trying something new.
The fear of being criticized on a public company blog is a big fear in the online world. By providing some thought on the new happening in your industry or by taking sides on an important issue impacting your audience you set yourself up for some criticism.
The key is to prepare for it and understand that criticism is actually a good thing in the blogging world.
Let me explain.
Corporate Blogging Fear of Criticism
David Mercer brought up this topic in his recent article Business blogging 101: How to deal with public reactions to your content
A lot of small business owners that I speak to express their hesitation at “going public” with a blog, or writing articles for public or social consumption on the Internet. The problem is that you, as the blogger, have very little control over how your content is treated once it is made public. And let’s face it, the Internet is not short of crazies.
What I have learned from writing content over the years (and this includes the books on software development, web development, eCommerce, marketing, and so on), is that the benefit and goodwill you derive from creating useful and relevant content will always outweigh the inevitable attempts to discredit your content. Most people are reasonable.
And here is where David nails it.
Most people are reasonable when it comes to the information you share. It’s not likely (although it could be) for you to be in such a polarizing field that people will get vicious with their comments. And even if that happens it can actually be a good thing.
In business there are often people that love your brand and probably a few people that dislike it. There are always people loyal to one of a few competing brands. They love one company, person, or team and despise the other.
The goal of a business shouldn’t be to please everyone, though. And that’s a big lesson. If you try to be plain vanilla you’re going to miss out on really finding your best customers. Focus on finding the people that will love your brand. They will spend the most money.
And your best customers will also come to your defense when others are giving you a little grief for saying something on your blog.
When You Say Something Wrong
There are times when, on your blog, you will say the wrong thing. It could be taken out of context in what you write. It happens. You write a post and it is upsetting to everybody. All you can do is try to avoid these situations as best you can. Set up guidelines with direction for your bloggers. Give them expectations and things to avoid. Tell them about how you want your company perceived.
I’ve found it’s really helpful for the blogger to have a clear understanding of who the brand is and who the customer is. Narrow it down to a specific person. It allows the blogger to get into the customer’s head and really tailor the writing for them. This method also helps the blogger to avoid any potential issues.
Things may still come up, but it’s not the end of the world.
Your brand is something you develop over time. With a solid foundation a few little bumps along the way won’t derail everything.
As David said above, there is much more to gain (new customers) from blogging than anything that could potentially be harmful.