With the emergence of corporate blogging (including the extended social media activity), a style of writing may become common for those who want to reveal their personal sentiments without exposing their host corporation to risk.

  When the corporate blog is too moderated and is just a marketing voice of nameless faceless people they tend to be ignored by the public.  Blogs need to have a voice from real people writing about their opinions.   Blogs are fast, imperfect, rambling, wacky, creative, full of mistakes, and opinionated displays of thoughts.  Blogs tend to not be written by professional journalist or authors, nor are they posted from people who did much research or analysis.  They may venture off topic at times and might even be incoherent when reading across many blog postings.  All these warts give a blog a "real" feel that makes it read more like a spoken conversation complete with slang and abbreviations and hidden codes that only people who are within the know understand.  For the professional writer, the blog is a garbage dump for amateurs to blurb and shout.  For the public, it reflects the messy communications they encounter in their daily lives.  It is entertainment and self-selected influence for thoughts that a reader might want to use for conversation.

The corporate marketing and legal staff would likely rather that blogs did not exist and they cause them yet one more communications channel that presents a risk to the corporate brand.  Given the public's interest in blogging (social media) and the amount of time people spend on them as well as their potential to influence public sentiment corporations are now forced to be in the "game" and release blogging by a select few representatives within their companies.   The corporation doesn't want this liability, nor do the individual marketing or legal staff, therefore all the liability is pushed to the employee who has the courage to put out a blurb on a public corporate blog.

The blogging employee, who is at once representing themselves but due to the corporation branding is also associated with the company they work for, take on personal employment risk in what they state on the blog.  If they are critical of the company in public they could have a premature exit from the company or cause the company reputational harm.  Given this situation what is the blogging employee to do?  They could self-censor and only blog about topics that are tangential or unrelated to the company but then why do this on a company blog instead of a personal blog.  One solution is to use an inferred encoding or text cypher where they make statements that when read literally they are acceptable to marketing and legal but if read through an interpreted lens would have an implied meaning that can be inferred by the reading public.  This double-speak may be more common than one might think. Marketing and advertising intentionally have subliminal messaging and no reason for anyone to think the same doesn't happen with corporate blogging (social media).

Human language is full of ambiguity and this makes it rich for expression of ideas and emotions.  Marketing language is often encoded with subliminal messages intended to influence the reader.  Legal language is subject to interpretation as well.  This creates room for the corporate blogger to get their message out without being exposed to the corporate censor.  The blogging needs to stay away from explicit or literal statements that could be flagged and blocked while still conveying their sentiments.  The placement of an idea within a corporate blog gives it a contextual association so making general statements could be inferred to imply the specific context of where it is being delivered.

Given the option of double-speak it is possible for a corporate blog to be both compliant with company policies while being authentic in its creative expression.  Maybe it won't be direct, and possibly it takes a bit more self-editing, but this may improve the blog writing.  In this regard, it might be the case that a corporate blog results in quality and expressive content.  If so then would these corporate bloggers then still be considered amateurs?

Linkedin has systematically provided a corporate product placement publishing platform for this very type of blogging. They have selected 500 "influencers" which have a posting preference, and corporations insert sanitized posting of "sponsored" content.

Whenever I read a LinkedIn post I avoid the influencers and look for people who took the time and risk to post something they are thinking about and preferably not about the company they are working for but something with a message that stands on its own.

Register for FREE to comment or continue reading this article. Already registered? Login here.