Missing the boat on blogs

Mike Manuel is continuing the conversation about companies making a big mistake by not paying attention to what those on blogs are saying about their brands, products, services, or even executives on a regular basis. Obviously, a big part of this problem is education, insofar as:

  • Companies don’t necessarily know this is going on
  • Once a PR or marketing person does find out about what is happening on blogs, where does s/he begin to monitor, measure, or respond?
  • What constitutes a response – a new blog, responses to each and every comment, contacting the blogger in question?

Additionally, most marketing and PR folks believe that they can eradicate difficulties on blogs and forums. It should be made pretty clear that mitigation is more likely to happen. Putting all the facts out there and clarifying whatever the problem or difficulty was in the first place, from another perspective, could prove as a final solution – but most bloggers won’t delete posts or comments that aren’t defamatory or libelous. At the very least, a company recognizing that there is a problem and making the effort to reach out to those involved, or at the least the blogger managing the site in question, is worth noticing.

I agree with Mike that it’s definitely not just “sticking an intern on it” and letting it fly from there. That isn’t to say that our interns wouldn’t be capable as anyone else to handle this problem, but as the root of this discussion seems to be in crisis monitoring and management, it is important to realize that this is a big deal, perhaps one day even mission critical, for some operations.