This time last year we were fine-tuning this blog getting it ready for launch in September. We hoped to learn from other companies who had already jumped into the blogosphere, but other than finding a few good examples - like Dell and GM - the cupboard was pretty bare. So we created most of this humble site from scratch. We learned a lot in the process, but thought there had to be a better way.
Obviously we weren't the only ones thinking the same thing, because shortly after we launched we learned that a few large companies south of the border had just joined together to create The Blog Council. It's a forum for corporations engaged in social media to get together, share ideas and try to make it easier for other corporations to get involved. They were a little suprised to hear from us, but we were welcomed aboard. In the last 7 months we've worked together to discuss issues, share stories and learn from eachother.
One of those issues is Disclosure. Whether you are blogging for yourself or on behalf of a corporation, transparency is an absolute must. So after months of work, the Blog Council released its first collective piece of work today. The Disclosure Best Practices Toolkit is a worthwhile read for anyone who blogs, reads blogs or is thinking of getting involved in social media. It's not a set of rules or commandments, just a good set of best practices developed by some of the biggest companies in North America that blog.
- Disclosure of Identity
- Personal/Unofficial Blogging and Outreach
- Blogger Relations
- Compensation and Incentives
- Agency and Contractor Disclosure
- Creative Flexibility
It's also a living document, so if you feel it could be improved, just send in your suggestions. How's that for transparency?
So, if you are thinking of starting a corporate blog, you're not alone. Even better, some of the heavy lifting has already been done for you.