“Being tarred with the same brush is to be part of a group regarded as all having the same faults and weaknesses, but, by inference, unfairly.” That quote comes from the wonderful little book, Red Herrings and White Elephants, by Albert Jack. This week, my Say It For You blog content is based on ideas from that book that I think will be useful for businessowners and for Indianapolis freelance blog content writers.
One purpose corporate blogging for business can serve, and admirably, is damage control. Through putting your own "spin" on reports about your company, I’ve often said, you as a business owner can exercise control over the way the public perceives any negative developments or mistakes, and you can use your blog to correct any inaccurate press statements. But what if the damage involves negative developments with some other, perhaps better-known, company in your industry? How can you use blogging to avoid being “tarred with the same brush” and having your business suffer from loss of customer confidence and trust?
When I’m helping business owners and professional practitioners craft their messages, damage control can become a very real issue. As a corporate blogging trainer, I know how crucial it is for them to convey to their customers, as well as to the online searchers who are their prospects, the kind of message that will alleviate mistrust and create confidence. At the same time, I explain, you ARE part of your own industry or profession. When aspersions are being cast, even if you and your employees are not responsible for any mistake or wrongdoing, you must “step up to plate” and speak directly to the issues.
There are two reasons, I believe, that business blog posts are such valuable tools when it comes to such a customer relations challenge:
Business blog content is current, talking about the “now”. The style of a business blog is conversational and – direct.
- By definition, in the blog, customers’ concerns and fears are being dealt with out in the open, “in front of other people”. That gives the remediation more weight with readers.
Here are some elements that can be of business blogging assistance in difficult damage-control situations (the content might be spread over several different posts):
- Summarize the situation – what is fact and what is myth?
- Who was and who wasn’t involved?
- What the general industry position is on the subject (reassuring readers that what has happened is a violation of, rather than an outcome of, the way the industry operates)
- What you as a company or practitioner are doing to avoid ever falling into that same “trap”
- Inviting and encouraging comments and questions
- What steps your customers can take to protect themselves and reassure themselves that they are being fairly served
Concerned about being tarred with the same brush when there’s a negative development in your industry or profession? Blog!