Yesterday we talked about considerations when creating a social media policy for your company or organization. But if your company or organization is planning on launching a blog, you also need to consider what policies and guidelines (both internal and external) will be in place for your efforts. Here’s six areas that you should consider when creating a corporate blogging policy:
1 – A formal blogging policy. Similar to your broader social media policy, the blogging policy should govern specific issues associated with your blog, and be relevant to the blogging team and the content created there. It should be governed by your social media policy, which should be governed by your employee guideline/code of conduct.
2 – A blogging schedule and guidelines for writers. This will communicate to bloggers what is expected from them as far as output and timing, and also the focus of the content and the tone that they should use.
3 – Comment policy for bloggers. This will let the bloggers know exactly how to respond to comments from readers. A framework should be provided to bloggers on how to respond to comments, and the Air Force has an excellent flow chart for how to handle comments.
1 – A solid About Page. This communicates exactly what the focus of the blog is to readers. It can also reinforce to the bloggers what is expected of them. A wonderful example of this is Patagonia’s About Page for The Cleanest Line. It not only tells what the blog is about, but gives the blog’s comment policy, and outlines exactly how readers can contact the bloggers, and even how to submit posts if they want.
2 – The blog’s comment policy. This should always be included on a blog so that there can be no confusion later on. The comment policy should clearly communicate to readers what type of comments are acceptable, and which ones are not. If comments will be moderated, that should be mentioned as well.
A great (and lengthy) example of the guidelines for readers commenting is on the Code of Conduct page on HomeGoods’ OpenHouse blog.
3 – Bios and pictures for all bloggers. The blog should have a bio and pictures available for all bloggers. This helps the readers connect with the bloggers and literally helps put a ‘human’ face(s) on the blog. Here’s how SouthWest collects the pictures of their bloggers all on one page on their blog, and you can click on each picture to read that blogger’s bio.
These six areas will help you flesh out your company blogging policy. If your company has a good example of a blogging policy, what does it look like? Please share with us in the comments.