Corporate blogging is not all it’s cracked up to be. Legal review of your marketing content takes some of the fun out of it. But for a good reason.
I don’t care what Google’s stock price is. They build an enterprise and reputation their way, and we build it our way. We’re not letting employees shoot from the hip in a blog post.
Nobody has said that to me, but it’s how I imagine a client in that position would think.
And, truth to tell, I haven’t fought the lawyers. I would stand nothing to gain and lots to lose.
As a marketing manager, you can crank out – or have a marketing communications writer crank out – blog posts that border on the fanciful. Face it: you’re in the business of imagination, and to keep the interest of your company’s followers, you may be tempted to “push it” every now and again. That’s because:
- People want to read controversy – or at least opinions – in a blog. They look to a blog for a peek behind the curtains at what’s going on in your organization. That’s usually the antithesis of legal review.
- The opinions they want to read do not include how great your products are. They want to know how you regard the market and especially your competitors. Legal review is not set up for that.
- Legal review slows down the blogging process and can deprive timely posts of their edge. Mostly, though, that’s a good thing.
So you can gripe and moan that all your best stuff ends up on the cutting room floor because it was censored. But keep in mind that the responsibility of legal reviewers in the content creation process is to ensure that you avoid publishing things you couldn’t prove if you had to. These people are trained to assume that you will have to prove it someday, and they’ve been correct often enough that their role is a valuable one.
Don’t fight them. And if you do fight them, let them win. Someday you can be David Drummond, senior vice president and chief legal officer of Google, and raise as many hackles as he did last month in a blog post about Microsoft and Apple.
But until then, just tell the truth “and make it rhyme.”
photo credit: Mike Willis