Had a fantastic meeting with an agency here in Indianapolis who’s working to ensure their client has a solid corporate blogging strategy. They’re off to a great start and we spoke a lot about controversy and blogging. The particular blog they’re putting up discusses a subject that could draw criticism from those with opposing views.
I’ve watched several companies react to negative criticism by trying to reasonably defend or discuss their position on the opposing blog. Bad strategy. When you come to my blog to defend your position, you’re not simply debating me, you’re going to find yourself debating an army of like-minded followers who read my blog regularly.
Often, when a controversy starts on my blog, I’ll just settle in and wait. Typically, readers will come to my rescue and rip the person to shreds. This is what happens when you are provoked into taking the battle to the opposing team’s property. You’re not simply arguing with the blogger – you’re arguing with the network behind the blog. And as you argue, the attention increases… the social engagement grows, search increases and you find this opposing post on the results for your company.
Always bring the fight home. If a blogger writes about you or your business negatively, utilize your blog to respond. You need not even mention them… but a link back to their post will typically get their attention so that they see your response. Hopefully, they’ll come back to your blog and comment. Perhaps they know better! You should know better, too.
The only thing worse than a company responding directly on the opposition’s blog is not responding at all. In new media, no response is equated with hubris and a lack of authenticity. A blogger who doesn’t respond to constructive criticism is often dismissed as a fake… they’re not around to be transparent but only to promote themselves. Their company and their corporate blog lose credibility and readership.
Always bring the fight home!