Follow these four safeguards for a successful, scandal-free blog In 2006 news spread quickly through the online community that Wal-Mart hired PR giant Edelman’s pros to pose as Wal-Mart shoppers and ghostwrite blogs praising the retailer.
You might be thinking, “Big deal, I ghostwrite things for my executives all the time.” Well, when it comes to the blogosphere, what might seem like a harmless way to communicate with customers can wind up alienating a vocal and influential online audience, and pick up national news coverage with words like “scandal” and “fiasco” in the headlines. What has been happening, according to Jay Byrne, president of v-Fluence Public Relations, is that too many companies—like Wal-Mart—jump into the blogosphere without looking first. Bloggers have become surprisingly influential with mainstream media, and one misstep can have your company splashed across the headlines like Wal-Mart. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With these proper safeguards and research, you can have a successful, scandal-free blog. 1. Online awareness