What being honest is all about

Imagine saying this to your colleagues. Publicly.

But, the behavior of my company in this instance is not right.

Guys over at MSN: sorry, I don’t agree with your being used as a state-run thug.

These are quotes from Robert Scoble, Microsoft’s best known blogger.

Old school thinking was that this type of thing is damaging to a company’s reputation. Like the problems of a traditional old world family, negativity should stay hidden and repressed.

You can read more about the actual story above, but the details aren’t important to this discussion. Scoble has turned a story that could hold huge potential for PR blow-up and shown that Microsoft is not only made up of real people who think like you and I, but that the company isn’t scared of open debate. This example is a great showcase of the process of how to business blog:

  1. Be honest – even if it hurts to talk about your colleagues or your company
  2. Find answers – it’s not enough just to talk about things openly. You also need to be engaging conversation with those who in are involved directly with the things you’re blogging about.
  3. Follow up – Once you’ve gotten the other side of the story, or additional facts, or any other type of information that’s relevant, fill in your audience. Create a full circle of feedback

Bonus point: (this one is for the company management) Support your bloggers – it might hurt to hear honesty, but your consumers appreciate it. (Just read the commments in the thread if you need an example) You may say you support the concept of blogging, but support the individuals too. Support their content. Get your management to post comments regularly. Help ensure that they’re getting the information they need from colleagues internally.

Great work, Scoble.

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