Friday, June 01, 2007


PR practitioners learn early that one can never assume. Just because someone is smart intellectually, there is no guarantee they are equally smart about communications. In fact, they can be dumb beyond belief. Here is a case where a doctor compromised his trial because he was blogging about it. The plaintiff's attorney figured that out and the case came to a crashing close. Common sense would tell one not to do something like that, but there are those at all levels of organizations who lack common sense.

Whether we like it or not, vigilance is part of PR's mission. The idea that every organization can be transparent is not correct. There are those for whom transparency becomes a significant danger to corporate reputation. They may be earnest people but they don't understand the limits under which they write. They cannot discipline themselves. It is PR's role to let such persons know that if they blog, they should avoid work-related topics, and if they violate the rule, they risk their jobs.

Admittedly the case of the doctor is extreme but so was the outcome. There are some issues one shouldn't blog. Maybe the doctor understands that now.


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