I think this is an interesting question. OK so I’m rather biased seeing as though I asked it!
Some companies encourage their employees to talk openly about the products and services they work with – other companies try to control all outbound messages with the aim of “letting the public relations experts manage the brand”. I think those that enable their people to talk openly and frankly via blogs are likely to be more transparent and therefore more interesting to their potential customers.
Microsoft’s blogging policy is really simple – blog smart- allow all full time employees to post whatever they like to the corporate blog sites (MSDN and TechNet) on the proviso that they consider in advance whether they’d be comfortable discussing posts with Steve or Bill should they deem them inappropriate.
Clearly there is another way of blogging – posting to non-corporate resources – in theory at least this gives total freedom to the employee though in practice there have been numerous cases of people being fired as a consequence of posts that have not been appreciated by their employer.
I think companies loose out if they don’t give their employees the opportunity to post in an easily discoverable way about work related topics.
What do you think? Which companies are good examples of each extreme?
I’d love to hear your views via comments to this post.