Our recent webinar on B2B blogging resulted in more questions than we had time to answer so, Mark Schaefer agreed to provide a personal reply on our blog to each question over the next 15 business days.
Question #1 comes from E. Rice:
What are your thoughts on hiring a blog writer and transparency (or lack of)?
Many of the early bloggers set a social media marketing agenda that emphasized “transparency,” meaning that you should be “real” and “authentic.”
I don’t believe anyone really expects you to be transparent. Personally I could care less how much your husband snores or how little Johnny’s poops are going. I think what people really want is HONESTY. That is the real commodity in business … and the social web.
So is hiring an outside blog writer dishonest? Perhaps that’s the real issue. I recently wrote a post on this topic, “Can You Out-Source Authenticity?” and the community’s comments were pretty evenly divided between “do it ” and “don’t do it.”
I guess I look at things from a practical business perspective. It would be ideal if a company has the resources to blog, but if they don’t, what’s the alternative? A far better answer than “not blogging” is to hire professional resources who can skillfully handle the job.
Companies routinely hire outside resources to handle sensitive processes like accounting and legal services. What’s the big deal about hiring a dedicated pro to be your blogger?
Based on the feedback on the previously-mentioned blog post, I penned another article titled “How to be a Friendly Ghost (Blogger).” This provides a great framework of guidelines for those who are thinking of out-sourcing this important role.
How is your company handling this? Is it still perceived as a taboo?