Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

originally posted on Concept Hub

If you have not picked up a copy of Naked Conversations yet, I highly recommend that you do. It is a comprehensive book about the history, current trends and the evolving revolution the blogosphere is having on how businesses communicate.

The key word there is communicate, not market, not sell, not push out carefully crafted messages, but communicate.

There is a section in the book that I just read that hits all the roadblocks that companies put up with why they are not interested in blogging. The book does a decent job of addressing each one, but  I have a few more answers I would like to add. I guess instead of being FAQs (frequently asked questions) these are FACs (frequently addressed concerns).

1. Negative Comments
This is a very common concern I hear as soon as I mention the word blog. Many people immediately think of Yahoo! message boards which are often a forum for upset employees or ex-employees. This is not at all the way the blogosphere works. It is a personal log that can and should be moderated by the person or group that ‘owns’ the blog. This does not mean that negative comments should not be allowed because if someone has an issue they want to be addressed, the blogosphere is open for them to post their negative comments elsewhere. However, by allowing those posts on your site and properly addressing them, you create a sense of ownership to your product or service and you allow others who support you to come to your defense.

2. Disclosing Confidential Information
I have heard a blog post compared to an email that is cc’d to the whole world. That is a scary thought if there is the potential that it might be information you do not want to be released. However, the blog is just one of many forms of communication. However, it is the most open form of communication. If there is going to be a leak of information it is less likely to come out on a blog as opposed to fax, email, or security breach. If confidential information is leaked via a blog post, a proactive company would become quickly aware and be able to take action.

3. No ROI
This is an ongoing debate for any action that supports sales efforts without being directly tied to a deal; marketing, public relations, customer support, and so forth. Blogging enables direct contact and relationship building with your target audience, while enhancing your client’s knowledge, thus shortening the sales cycle, in turn, providing an ROI.

4. Loss of Message Control
This is exactly why everyone needs to be involved in the blogosphere in one form or another. The conversations are happening with or without you. If you are not involved, you have lost control of your message or worse, your message has been lost and no one cares.

5. Competitive Disadvantage
I actually have not heard this concern too often, which is a fear of the competition reading the blog. Personally, I would think it flattering and hope to improve my competitor’s products or service thus pushing the entire industry forward.

Note that fear, uncertainty, and doubt has never helped anyone or any company to move forward.