Wednesday, 17 August 2005

On corporate blogs: HP's Yale Tankus takes me to task

I got email from Yale Tankus, the HP OpenView Veep of Partnerships. I think he objected to my dig at his blog last month, on Computerworld's IT Blogwatch. In a report on HP's latest layoffs, I said:
Yale Tankus—an HP exec with a "blog" that has all the hallmarks of being written by a PR flak...
Let's be clear: my "PR flak" line was not directed at the specific post to which I linked, but as a general dig at "corporate blogs"—a phrase that you could see as a contradiction in terms.

It seems to me that execs. of large corporations who blog need to be extra-extra-careful not to have their writing perceived as PR-ghosted. Naturally, HP has a business aim for blogging; nothing wrong with that. However, it's important for a blog to be participatory. It should also have a distinctive "voice."

As it happens, I am advising several of my clients on these issues at present. It's a new world. I won't aggrandize it by describing it as a "paradigm shift," but traditional PR certainly doesn't have all the answers.

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