A blog to complement the Web site of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi-Central Chapter Web site at www.pramcentral.org.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Corporate blogging and negative comments

When Paul Chaney, Radiant blogger, visited our chapter last week, the one question that was on everyone's mind: What do I do if I get a negative comment on my blog?

Rest assured, others are asking the same question at American Marketing Association seminars. It is the one reason that I have heard many say that they were worried to suggest blogging to their company.

My take on this? You don't get as many comments as you think you will, period. And of those you do get, they are not as negative as you think. And if you do get negative comments on your blog, you can address them directly - as opposed to that same person negatively commenting about your company to many others that you don't know about.

Paul used Robert Scoble of Microsoft geek blogger fame as an example of a well-known corporate blogger in his presentation. But Scoble's also an example of how negative comments addressed correctly can ultimately be a positive experience for both the blogger and the consumer. When someone does leave a negative comment on his blog, he addresses it immediately. He often contacts the person who left the comment and tries to get more information about the question or problem. And if there's nothing in the realm of God's green earth he can do to fix it, he lets us know. If there is, he lets us know too. Through blog comments, he controls the situation and acts as an emissary between the audience and Microsoft corporation.

PRAM Central has had this blog for quite some time. Not one negative comment. None. Nada.

At MHA, we have several news blogs with comments enabled: MHA News Now, MHA Executive Briefing, News Around the State, Help Wanted and our MHA staff blog. Never a negative comment. (Even on the staff blog - which many of you fear will turn into a public gripe forum.)

In other words, negative comments should not be what scares you away from blogging. Bad writing, maybe, miscommunication, perhaps - negative comments, not.

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