want to say a few more things about blogs. It seems that anyone and her mother
are starting blogs. All it takes is for a well-meaning relative at a family
gathering to answer in the affirmative when a blogger-to-be says ever so
nonchalantly, “So, maybe I should start of blog . . . “ We all know people who
say, “Go for it” without even knowing what “it” really is.
why should that concern publicists? First, take this new company security
conundrum: people who’ve been laid off are sometimes not exactly happy about
their unemployed status. Some are even a little angry. And some become outright
belligerent. Who knew? Seriously, it’s a problem, because many of these
unemployed workers find the blogosphere the perfect venue for their thoughts.
And if their thoughts are not exactly charitable toward their former employer,
then the company could have a problem.
can happen to big firms and tiny ones, too. The Wall Street Journal reported
recently that in “a recent survey, 14% of the 586 U.S. employees admitted they
had sent confidential or potentially embarrassing company emails to outsiders.”
Personally, I think it’s unwise to send such emails. Actually, I think it’s
risky to send any emails that put people in a negative light. I know that seems
really na?ve. And perhaps working from a home office I am a little out of touch
on that issue, but as I continue to tell my kids, anything you put out there on
the Internet is like sharing something with the masses. Clearly, we have people
in our lives whom we trust implicitly and I’m not really including them in this
very unscientific analysis. But honestly, too many things come back to bite us
in the rear end and in many cases we have only ourselves to blame.
getting back to being prepared. Most companies, I think, if asked will say
something like they don’t know who might have leaked information to a blog or
the press in general. Why would they say anything else? I wouldn’t. But if you
have a client who has some rocky times ahead, you might want to ask the
question: anyone on staff who might want to badmouth the firm in response to
whatever . . . ?
is what good PR people do: they ask the tough questions and then help the
client navigate toward a reasonable response.