Blogging Guidelines for the Workplace
A simple guide for companies / employees to start blogging:
1: Sign up to a free service. A company should not host employee blogs internally, as using an external service allows both parties to make a clean break should the need require it. A blog away from the company will increase credibility and any expenses incurred in setting up a blog, will not be covered by the company.
2: Use your real name. This adds to your credibility as an author. It allows you to write as yourself, illustrating your thoughts and opinions, instead of adopting a company ‘voice’.
3: Pick a topic. ‘Niche’ works best. Post relevant content that inspires you first and be frequent with your updates. Role specific topics work well, share knowledge. You may write during the company hours, as long as it isn’t excessive and doesn’t interfere with your current work priorities.
4: Adverts are OK, however try to keep within the values of the company (if you have that control over them).
5: Be respectful and friendly to visitors. Including competitors, employees, customers, companies or others. If your blog is connected in anyway to the company, you will have to abide by the company comms policy & employee handbook. This will also cover how you should behave in public as a responsible employee.
6: Make it clear you own this space. Add a disclaimer if you wish to clarify this, by making it clear that all thoughts and opinions are your own. You will have the responsibility and liability of any actions from your activity there. You may also wish to add a copyright notice to any content created (optional).
7: Be private. Personal and professional content on the topics of Financial, proprietary, sensitive, confidential or operational information should not be discussed as a general rule, unless specifically given the all clear to do so.
8: Copyright law. If you didn’t create or write it, you don’t own it and can’t distribute without permission. This is the general rule, however much of the Internet, promotions and marketing understand that sharing with a credit to the author is acceptable. This does make the area ‘grey’, but the company will not provide legal guidance on this topic. If in doubt, don’t.