Corporate communication function; loosing control or gaining a reputation platform?

Daimler (divorced from Chrysler) is taking a step beyond the corporate blog or CEO blog. The success rate of this initiative depends primarily on hands-off communication!

Last week Daimler went live with its employee blog tiled: Der Daimler Blog. There was some discussion if it should be DER or DAS. According to ‘Der Duden’ (The German Dictionary) both are possible. Please put your mouse on Der Daimler Blog upper right logo to see their solution.

The success of an employee blog depends on two forces.

1) Effective marketing of this new communication & interaction channel within Daimler as a joint effort of HR, communication, management and workers’ councils.

2) No policing of the corporate communication department. Let it develop, do not interfere. One voice, one brand, one corporate sustainable story…. let go of these academic principles. Today it’s all about your reputation and this also strengthened through good employee relations. Employees know their responsibilities. Should this not be case, solve this problem and communicate with and train your employees. Limited control, by the moderators of such a blog, is acceptable in order to prevent cursing, bad language or leaking of corporate secrets.

Less control should be the mantra for employee blogs which will lead to a more successful blog (visitors & interaction) and self-regulation.

Employees are communicating online anyway; corporate or not. Facebook, Hyves etc. host a variety of employee communities, mostly departmental. One can find juicy details on these blogs. For example if you have lost your bags with an airline. You will probably find prove of unsatisfied workers in the baggage handling department in these communities. These community sites are a great tool for consultants to find disgruntled employee relationships, mismatching cultures and hidden issues. This information could be used at acquisition meetings, although one never knows how management will react to these accusations.

Christian ter Maat MCC, MMC; Director at Carevolution Management Consultancy

Cutting The Red Tape

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