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The Blog Council's Disclosure Policiies

While I’m a few days behind in blogging it (I’m actually writing this on a plane and posting this via email so I can do it offline), I wanted to at least share a link to the Blog Council’s new Disclosure Best Practices Toolkit, online at http://blogcouncil.org/disclosure/ .

Who should read it: This is for any companies and agencies participating in social media. It’s focused most closely on blog outreach, blogging, and blogger relations. There’s also a section about people blogging from within the organization.

There are a number of convenient checklists. Since I first reviewed this a few days ago and it’s designed to be more of a wiki than a hard and fast document, it may have changed since I first saw it. In the version I saw, there actually seemed to be too many checklists, a couple seemed redundant. They did do a good job covering a number of situations, such as commenting on blogs and blog outreach, and the guidelines spend a fair amount of time discussing how to work with agencies who do the outreach on a company’s behalf.

They’re far more thorough than the WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) guidelines, making this more of a handbook. Yet WOMMA’s one-pager does manage to cover that. If any business really adopts the WOMMA principles, they’ll wind up following these guidelines by default. And while these guidelines are thorough when dealing with blogs, they also do themselves a disservice that way. I don’t know of anyone – individual or company – who’s just blogging these days. It might be primarily blogging and microblogging, or Facebook and microblogging, or video podcasting and blogging and hosting a community on Ning.

Blogging still holds a pivotal place in the social media landscape, and the practice should be acknowledged as some sort of specialized discipline, as long as it’s clear that blogs are just one key part of the social media and digital media and even general media ecosystem.

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Comments to: The Blog Council's Disclosure Policiies
  • Avatar
    August 1, 2008

    Hi David,
    Thanks for the write-up! We definitely appreciate the support and the thorough exploration you did.
    You’re absolutely right that blogs are just one key part of the media ecosystem. The Toolkit is intended as a training tool for companies to develop their own disclosure guidelines on all social media, not just blogs. The Toolkit FAQ addresses that question directly: “Are the disclosure guidelines just for blogs? No, these guidelines are useful any place where your employees are commenting or participating in a conversation. They are useful for all social media, and in particular any time there is a question of personal vs. corporate voice/role.”
    We put this out there to demonstrate that not only is disclosure the right thing to do, but is actually easy to do well.
    Thanks again for helping us keep the conversation going, David.
    I am a Blog Council employee and this is my personal opinion.


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