The Times Online reported today the results of a recent survey of PR consultants on blogs and brand reputation:
“Nearly 60 per cent of respondents said that companies have not yet woken up to the risks, and 64 per cent said that a disgruntled employee or customer could cause significant damage to a firm´s reputation by posting damaging remarks on blogs”
For companies evaluating whether they should start a business blog or not, consider:
No blog – means not engaging in the dialogue that is happening with or without you. Unaddressed or poor response to negative commentary on blogs about your brand can be disasterous. Land Rover, Dell and Kryptonite Locks are perfect examples. There are others, but they are my clients 🙂
Blog – builds and helps protect your brand by participating in the format that is increasingly influential amongst your marketplace. Blogs can facilitate entry to centers of influence in your market, particularly with the rising number of citizen journalists, that corporate websites cannot.
Another side effect of negative commentary on blogs is the visibility they get on search engines on queries that include your brand name. Implementing a blog creates another relevant entry in search engines that may help displace blog posts by detractors from the search results.
Most PR firms still don’t “get it” with blogs although some are making headway. Edelman and Technorati have partnered in a Blogger PR Survey “for opinions on public relations, corporate
communications, and best practices for companies wanting more active involvement with the blogging community.” It will be interesting to see the results of that report.