Is employee blogging a risk?

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Is employee blogging a risk?

Risk issues around corporate email monitoring have received a lot of attention in recent years, but as blogging continues to gain in corporate adoption, more risk implications may arise. While executives and IT teams have long recognized the importance of having policies in place to manage external forms of communication like email they are just beginning to realize the importance of applying the same level of scrutiny to their internal and external corporate blogs.

Employee blogging essentially turns every employee into a company spokesperson, and while the employee may only be expressing personal opinions versus the official company position, they are still representing your organization in some capacity. Should organizations be worried that employees may say something offensive or divulge sensitive company information that could create a problem for the company? Is blogging a high risk activity that should be prevented or policed? Or should we just trust employees to do the right thing and not worry about the risks?

Consider the following to effectively manage the risks associated with corporate blogs:

Be clear: Organizations need to create an official position on the subject. Do you allow blogging or do you not?

Create a blogging oversight committee and clearly outline proper standards of conduct policies, codes of ethics or even contractual agreements with individual employees.

Trust but verify. Proactive monitoring of blogs will help ensure that policies are being respected. Hopefully, you can also warn employee who may be straying from the policy before they need to be more severely disciplined. Organizations can consider more intensive monitoring if they feel the risk is warranted, for example, potential national security breaches.

Corporations are finding themselves dealing with issues of liability surrounding blogging. Organizations need to understand that although blogging is an effective form of communication, every form of communication creates risks as well as rewards.

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