Regulated Industries Can Blog, Too!

Blog maven David Meerman Scott says he’s heard every excuse in the book.

Reasons business owners put forth for not embracing blogging as part of their marketing plan include, according to Scott, fear of looking silly, fear of negative comments, and plain terror about technology.  The most interesting excuse of all, he says, is "Blogging does not work in our industry". Nonsense, says Meerman Scott.  Blogging does work in every industry. Just to prove his point, he mentions lawyers, dentists, politicians, Singapore-based software companies, Canadian blood donation centers, Florida real estate agents, churches, and rock bands. In each of those categories, he implies, companies and practitioners are successfully employing blog marketing.

Of course, blogging is a relatively new field.  It was not so long ago, says Compendium Blogware CEO Chris Baggott, that there was still a lot of skepticism about using email as a business communications tool.  Today, of course, email has been adopted by just about every business and organization as a way to stay in touch with clients and customers.  But, since you can’t email people without permission, corporate blogging helps a business or practice acquire those clients and customers in the first place.

Having spent close to thirty years in the financial services industry, writing newspaper columns on personal finance during all that time, I know a thing or two about being highly regulated, and about needing to get the approval of corporate attorneys on every piece of communication. I was fascinated to read David Meerman Scott’s report on how Putnam Investments (70 year-old global money management firm) has begun to use blogging and social media. Putnam has a blog, and Bob Reynolds of Putnam is the first CEO in the mutual fund industry to Tweet!

I remember how, during my financial planning career, I often felt resentment about all the rules. I certainly did my share of griping about all the regulations and what I sometimes considered to be my employer’s over-zealous interpretation of those regulations.  Despite the griping, I always believed in playing by the rules, and so I did.
I sure hope, now that Putnam’s broken the ice, blogging will no longer be considered against the rules.  In fact, blogging might become the rule – even in highly regulated industries!

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