It's fair to disagree. But please be sure you've read what was written before you criticize

The Blog Run has written a critical response to my post on Blogging and PR Career Advancement. Blog Run states, “One PR firm is having everyone at its firm blog … but is missing the bigger point: passion. Don’t force employees to blog to “understand” the blogosphere, as it defeats the whole purpose. Blogging comes with passion, and without that passion, it’s astroturfing and forced and … well, crap.”

Blog Run should read my post again. If they did, they’d discover that I said:

I believe that, as an employer, my company has an obligation to encourage all of the practitioners in my firm to explore blogging. As a minimum, everyone must be familiar with it as a communications channel. And those who have the inclination, passion and viewpoint necessary to express their own voice must be given the tools to explore active participation in the conversation.

(…)

We’re making these blogs available behind our firewall so that anyone who has the inclination to test their voice can do it in the safety of our corporate environment. We’re encouraging people to use their blogs to share project information, to express opinions on business issues, to entertain, whatever they want.

I know that many people will not post to their internal blogs. That’s OK. Active blogging isn’t for everyone. But we’re making the tool available in the same way that we offer all our employees media monitoring services, media list generation databases and word processors and spreadsheets.

So, Blog Run has failed to accurately portray what I said. In fact, their point of view isn’t really out of line with what I actually wrote. Active blogging isn’t for everyone. Bloggers must have inclination, passion and viewpoint.

As for making internal blogs available to be used by each of our employees? I’m sure not going to apologize for giving my employees the tools and resources to explore a new communications medium that I believe will revolutionize the practice of public relations.

  • The subtext to all of this is that the technology, simple and intuitive as it is, has the potential to meet at least some of the hype of the web. But even more important, it is clear that we are aiming at a moving target in terms of how social media in general are changing the way we see communications.

    Bravo to Joseph Thornley for not only assessing how blogs are changing corporate and government communications but for walking the walk. Blogs are scary, personal and wide open to misunderstanding. Partly because of those qualities, they are engaging, addictive, varied and highly motivating.

    I was speaking to the vice president of a Thornley Fallis Competitor recently and mentioned blogs. She didn’t even know what they were. I’m not sure what advantage that gives the Thornley Fallis people who’s President and firm are strongly encouraging people to experiment, but I know from my experience of blogs that it is probably already paying dividends in the marketplace.

    Like Thornley’s competitor who didn’t know even what a blog is, I think we are all unsure what a blog will be in the future, but the key insight is that it is a social construct dependent on technology, not the other way around. That makes it human. That makes it immediately relevant to someone.

  • Thank you for your comments Greg.

    You are bang on about the technology serving the social construct, not the other way around. Since I began blogging, I have been able to find, listen to and exchange views with people who have helped me to advance my own thinking on the issues of importance to a communicator. And thanks to blogging, we have conducted these conversations across time zones and continents. It doesn’t matter that one person may be in Amsterdam, another in Ottawa, a third in Toronto and a fourth in Concord. Blogging has eliminated distance as a limiter.

    For me, blogging is making life long learning a reality.

  • I’ll still stick by my secondary comment – by giving them the tools, it’s an unwritten “go blog” message.

    The tools are already out there, and free.