How scary are the results of the new IABC survey on blogging? When asked how best to deal with hostile bloggers, some 300 corporate communicators were split right down the middle as to whether it should be their responsibility or pushed to customer service. Customer service? Talk about one of the great oxymorons in business.
Another significant number of respondents said they just ignore hostile bloggers. Oh brother. Both findings are a recipe for disaster.
As discussed in previous posts, blogging should be the responsibility of corporate communications, since it involves a dialogue with constituents and impacts an organization’s image and reputation (plus, I’d like to think that we are best equipped at establishing a "conversation" between an organization and its constituents).
Passing the buck to a customer service representative is tantamount to dereliction of duty in my book. And, those corporate communicators who choose not to respond at all to hostile bloggers should be locked up in the blogosphere’s version of Gitmo.
When will the PR profession wake up and begin taking digital communications seriously? Too few agencies have blogs and too many corporate communications professionals allow their brethren in marketing or, gulp, customer service, to "own" blogging.
The sooner our ilk "get" that digital communications is here to stay and that engaging in dialogues and establishing relationships with friendly, indifferent or even hostile bloggers is critical to the overall corporate communications program, the sooner we’ll see America’s corporations begin building new and different relationships with current and future customers.
Someone needs to send a big, digital wake-up call to the "pros" who responded to the IABC survey. The job they save may be their own.