Corporate blogging offers exceptional and cost efficient advertisement. Corporations have discovered that through the use of blogging they can not only become more familiar with the consumers but also create “two-way communication with their stakeholders (Strother 243).” This use of social media allows the corporations to appear caring, humane, and trusting.
However, though there is a great deal of evidence leading to the conclusion that bogging has become a godsend to battle the harsh, detached, and often destructive beast that is Corporate America, the blog does pose a threat to business. Michelle Evans, Journal of Legal Studies Education, inquires in to the risks associated with corporate blogging and the potential for legal issues and overall monetary loss. She states concern that corporate instituted regulations on blogging may deter damaging use of social media by employees, but could be ineffective. (Evans 25). I ask the question: does the benefits of blogging outweigh the potential havoc?
It is apparent the corporate leaders are torn with the question. IBM created “Blog Central” as a internal base for employee morale boosting (Strother 244). For the purpose of internal use, I find the risk of corporate harm to be minimal. However, the use of social media for external communication offers a wide variety of risk and benefits. The benefits being advertisement and publicity, study of public opinion, and a simple way for potential customers to find helpful information (Strother 244). The benefits, at this point, seem to outweigh the risks significantly.
Though the benefits are clear and attractive through the perspective of money generating, the risks hold a great deal of threat to the corporation. Corporate secrets, movements, and developments can, and have been, prematurely offered to the public through the anonymous forum of social media– namely bogging. Apple suffered a great deal when a blogger outed the release of the Asteroid (Strother 246). Such corporate leaks can cause damage to the corporation. Stock can decrease, flux in public opinion, false information can be introduced.
Granted, not much can be done for non-employee blogging; however, it seems that a great deal of negative results from bogging have originated with employees or non-employees posting to the corporate blog. One could make the argument that regulations and guidelines should be created and enforced in relation to blogging. Both Strother and Evans offer a sample of regulation or guidelines. However, it is evident that the court system overwhelmingly rules in favor of freedom of speech over corporate interest in the matter of social media and corporate collaboration.
From the readings and evidence, I have difficulty conceding to the idea that corporate blogging offers more benefits and risks. Perhaps with functioning and legally enforceable regulation, the benefits would outweigh the risk. I pose this question: Can any regulation be realistically implemented that would serve to protect the interest of the corporation while not infringing on the constitutional rights of the people (consumer and employee) ?
Evans, Michelle. Journal of Legal Studies Education. Mar2012, Vol. 29 Issue 1, p1-25. 25ps
Strother, Judith A., Zohra Fazal, and Melinda Millsap. (2009). Legal and ethical issues of the corporate blogosphere. IEEE Transactions On Professional Communication, 52(3), 243-253