For those considering blogs as PR strategy…

If you’re thinking about how blogs may fit your organization’s PR mix, drop in on Kami Huyse today. She presents the first in a series of posts on “the risks and benefits of corporate blogging.” Lots to think about.

Although recent research at Kent State indicates marginal interest in blogging among PR pros, that’ll change as social media continue to grab a bigger chunk of audience. But since you’re reading this on a blog, you likely already know this.

Legal issues are a big concern to management. So Kami, along with Constantin Basturea and Scott Baradell are teaming up for a PRSA teleseminar titled “Social Media Update: Legal Implications.” Worth a listen when you consider that a site fee for one of these conferences is just $150 for PRSA members.

Conference is Tuesday, March 13, 3 p.m. EST. We’ll be tuned in at Kent State and we’ll likely have a few extra chairs. Drop me a line if you’d like to join us. But you gotta bring popcorn.

16 Responses to For those considering blogs as PR strategy…

  1. Kami Huyse says:

    Glad you will join the call. I have to say that you academic types are pretty quick. My post this morning is somewhat in preparation for that call. Caught!🙂

  2. With all do respect… what in God’s name do Constantin, Scott and Kami know about legal implications? My Lord!

    On a serious note, giving legal advice without a law degree and a license is illegal. Then again, technically speaking, it would be a stretch to construe PR counsel as advice.

    Regards,

    – Amanda

  3. Bill Sledzik says:

    What better place to test the concepts than with your loyal readers, Kami? We’re looking foreward to your sharing of wisdom. Pressure’s on!

    And Amanda, I’ll have to let the presenters speak for themselves if they care to. I don’t think their intent is to offer legal advice, but to discuss legal issues related to corporate blogs. I spoke to our faculty attorney on this (he’s a 1st Amendment and privacy guru), and he plans to attend the teleseminar. The legal conversations related to blogging are new to most everyone, it seems. So we’ll talk about it.

  4. I’ve been quite vocal about the legal implications and RISKS for almost a year now.

    Here, this might be helpful. Kami challenged me to assign numbers for the degrees of risk with her Top-10 List. I commented: Risk analysis is an actual business discipline. Rather than pulling numbers out of one’s butt, I recommend that you speak with a few risk managers. Also, a few corporate general counsels and an SEC attorney would be good. Generally speaking, I equate all of “corporate blogging” to kids playing on highway. “Might I get cracked by a speeding 18-wheeler?,” is not the correct question. The question is simply “when?”

    Again, Constantin, Scott and Kami are only now coming to terms with the legal implications. It is a topic TOTALLY out of their combined scope. Again, what pray tell do they know about corporate law and risk analysis.

    But who knows. Their teleseminar on brain surgery and nerve grafting was killer.🙂

    – Amanda

  5. Kami Huyse says:

    And I responded that I do indeed happen to know a little about risk analysis, conveniently left out of Amanda’s comment here. I also have the counsel of one of the best risk analysis engineers in the country, I am married to him. So, risk is a topic that I am pretty familiar with. He I talk shop a good bit and I have him to look over my work as well, a nice arrangement.

    As for legal implications, I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.😉 I think that the goal is to talk about the legal considerations from a PR perspective. Including how to work with the legal staff on this issue. Should be interesting.

  6. Judy Gombita says:

    I was sharing this post with several bloggers and organizations (considering corporate blogs) last week.

    From Law Technology News: As Blogging Grows, So Do its Do’s and Don’ts
    By Alysa N. Zeltzer and John E. Villafranco
    Internet Law & Strategy
    February 20, 2007

    http://www.law.com/jsp/legaltechnology/pubArticleLT.jsp?id=1171620175568&rss=newswire

  7. Kami

    I am married to a doctor so I feel pretty qualified to give a teleseminar on medicine. Are you kidding me!!!

    God I love PR.

    Okay, since there is nothing stopping you Kami… is your beloved risk analysis engineer even in the ballpark of our topic? What is his specialty? Product safety? Buildings? Again, we are taking about business risk as it relates to litigation.

    – Amanda

  8. Kami Huyse says:

    Amanda; It’s not so much that I am married to him but that I am seeking expert opinion.

    His credentials…PhD, decision making, expert opinion analysis, stochastic analysis, it goes on… and yes, it also includes materials, space shuttle, oil and gas companies, etc. So, he isn’t precisely what you ordered up, but he is more than capable of helping me with a few risk parameters. Actually, the methods are cross discipline. It’s child’s play to him really.

    Moreover, I am not claiming any legal expertise, but I have been doing my research about risks in general, and my post was largely based on Judy’s suggested reading, which I credited clearly. Not to mention that when a corporation decides to go this route they had better get personalized legal advice. I am one of the few that recommend this in my sphere.

    What is silly is your assertion that the only credible discussion on a subject must come from those with the perfect credentials. Frankly, in my career I have come across some people with so-called credentials that you wondered how they got up out of bed and made it to work that day.

    By the way, this is feeling a little like the old days😉

  9. I am sorry Kami… you’re totally out of you league here. From what you’ve offered, I doubt that your husband’s expertise applies either. Unfortunately (regrettably), this smacks of an example of where the web “conversation” encourages opinion from anyone. Not good. That misinformation is then various quoted in the echo chamber.

    How ’bout a teleseminar with Alysa Zeltzer and John Villafranco? I bet they could recommend a risk analyst appropriate to the task, as well. Call ’em!

    – Amanda

  10. Bill Sledzik says:

    Sorry, Amanda. Gotta chime in and disagree with you at this point. While Web conversation does encourage opinions from a lot of folks, it’s the “active” and the “passionate” who tend to chime in. And even when those folks are totally nuts, we have to listen, because they’re gonna talk with or without our input or encouragement.

    With regard to who has expertise to talk about what, Kami has earned her stripes on the social media topic — a topic we’re all learning about on the fly. Her blog discussions and her efforts in Second Life evidence her willingness to experiment. Second Life may turn out to be a dead-end, but I’m happy pros like Kami are there to tell me about it. I don’t have the time or the patience to climb the learning curve.

    Not everyone agrees on the value of social media in public relations. If you read this blog, you know that I’m a skeptic myself. But since none of us has the answers to the great social media puzzle, it behooves us to seek those answers. That’s not an academic talking, just a curious person.

    Social media has become the focus of my academic research because it’s become a part of our organizational communication whether we like it or not. I read your blog, Amanda, and I know you disagree with that point. But in my line of work, I don’t have a lot of choice but to study this stuff and to explore possibilities. That’s why I welcome discussion of risk and any knowledge Kami, Scott and Constantin bring to the table based on their own research.

    A final story. Yesterday, I led a class discussion about investor relations — an area of PR in which I have zero experience. I know a good bit about it because I read a lot, I study business communication and I’ve studied SEC regs. But the best insights I have on business and finance come from my wife, a CPA and business adviser with some 30 years of experience helping her clients avoid the minefields.

    We all have trusted counselors. Some of us even sleep with them.

    But given your profile, Amanda, we’d better not go there, eh?

  11. “While Web conversation does encourage opinions from a lot of folks, it’s the “active” and the “passionate” who tend to chime in. And even when those folks are totally nuts, we have to listen, because they’re gonna talk with or without our input or encouragement.”

    Yes. But with the asymmetry and ubiquity that is the Net, it becomes an impetrative to question. Hyper conversation demands hyper vigilance.

    “With regard to who has expertise to talk about what, Kami has earned her stripes on the social media topic — a topic we’re all learning about on the fly.”

    No. Using a telephone does not make one an electronic or social engineer.

    “Second Life may turn out to be a dead-end, but I’m happy pros like Kami are there to tell me about it.”

    SL is a chat tool. Okay, let me inflate that a bit… SL is a chat tool.

    “Not everyone agrees on the value of social media in public relations. If you read this blog, you know that I’m a skeptic myself. But since none of us has the answers to the great social media puzzle, it behooves us to seek those answers.”

    Exactly. For answers, look to true experts and skeptics… NOT boosters and boy scouts.

    “In my line of work, I don’t have a lot of choice but to study this stuff and to explore possibilities.”

    I TOTALLY agree. I applaud it.

    “That’s why I welcome discussion of risk and any knowledge Kami, Scott and Constantin bring to the table based on their own research.”

    Again, the combined knowledge of those three is opinion that hints at good questions. Sorry, but that absolutely serves to distort rather than answer anything.

    “A final story: Yesterday, I led a class discussion about investor relations — an area of PR in which I have zero experience. I know a good bit about it because I read a lot, I study business communication and I’ve studied SEC regs. But the best insights I have on business and finance come from my wife, a CPA and business adviser with some 30 years of experience helping her clients avoid the minefields.”

    Please don’t argue that avocation and shared saliva amount to expertise. Please. Do you have “I read a lot” and “my wife’s a CPA” on your CV?

    – Amanda

  12. Kami Huyse says:

    And Amanda, your credentials as a know-it-all critic are?

    I think we better just agree to disagree, you don’t know anything about my experience, as I know little about yours, combined as it may be.

  13. No, Kami. You are confusing apples and oranges. It does not take credentials to question. It merely takes logic and discipline.

    On the other hand, when people hold themselves out as experts, and actually charge money for that expertise (or conduct seminars), they need to be prepared to defend it. You, Scott and Constantin are NOT technically capable of defending expertise in the area of risk and communications law. And you haven’t. Period. And all this alluding to creds by proxy and proximity is ludicrous. It is just plain silly that we are even having this discussion.

    Last week I wrote a piece, “Is PR Beyond Ridicule?” For this and things similar, I think it is. There just seems to be a fundamental disconnect in PR today. It’s just some narcissistic nightmare where we seem to have lost the ability to be self critical. It is totally shameless.

    – Amanda

  14. Kami Huyse says:

    Narcissistic? You wrote the guidebook on narcissism.

    Let’ s get back on topic. You are making too much of this. The conference call is about thinking through the steps that a public relations professional should consider when faced with the idea of starting a corporate blogging program, the questions one should ask. Naturally, these decisions are made by teams, including legal counsel, and that will be a part of my advice.

    As for getting paid as an expert in risk, that is ludicrous. First of all, I was recruited for this call (read: I didn’t agitate for it). We will not give legal advice but strategic communications advice, for which I Am indeed qualified. My beef was that you accused me of not understanding that risk analysis was a discipline, and I am telling you that on that count I am perfectly aware that it is.

    I do have access to an expert, so when I have thoughts on such things, questions, I naturally run it by him. I think the fact that he is helping one of the largest oil companies in America come up with a method to make better business decisions qualifies him to give me a little advice, especially when it comes to evaluating Charlene Li’s paper. However, I will never hold MYSELF up as an “expert.” However, I am thinking through the process with several clients, and their legal counsel, so I will continue to float ideas.

    I feel that you have overreacted and judged without all the information, and I must also admit your arrogant attitude is offputting. That said, I do understand your point, and I will see what I can do.

    With that, I will turn this back over to Bill and apologize for highjacking his blog. Also, I will turn it over to Amanda for the last word, which she will undoubtedly have. And I will thank her profusely for helping to make me a bit of an old hand at dealing with negative comments.🙂 How long has is been now? I think at the end of March it will have been a year that we have been dancing.

  15. First off, indeed I did write the guide book on narcissism in PR. “Strumpette” is a mirror for the business and a “naked” one at that.

    As to your other points, I stand by what I said, the questions I asked, and the questions that remain. That said, I am wondering, could get a transcript of the teleseminar? I’d love it.

    Thanks in advance.

    – Amanda

  16. Judy Gombita says:

    Robin Crumby over at the (collective) Melcrum blog posted an interesting item today, “The perils of blogging and libel laws.” (This was the first I heard of this particular court case.)

    Robin writes:

    Sir Martin Sorrell, founder of marketing services giant WPP, was in the London’s High Court yesterday suing two former associates over a “bitterly hostile” campaign against him and his Italian chief operating officer, Daniela Weber via blog posts and e-mail.

    It is alleged that Sorrell and Ms Weber were described as:

    “the mad dwarf and the nympho schizo”

    This is the first high-profile libel case in the UK to focus on comments made on a blog and the full report of the case can be found in today’s Financial Times….

    For the rest: http://www.melcrumblog.com/2007/03/the_perils_of_b.html

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