- TO: Social Media Team.
- FROM: Tech Garden’s Head of Public Relation.
- DATE: February 28, 2013.
- SUBJECT: Legal Changes on the Corporate Blog.
In consultation with corporate lawyers, senior managers in the public relations department have decided to tighten control over the company’s corporate blog. This is aimed at reducing the risk of legal liability.
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On behalf of public relations management, I appreciate your blogging services so far. However, due to the many legal risks associated with corporate blogging, the managers want to put some guidelines in place that will reduce liability exposure.
Some of the legal risks involved include negative comments. When comments are devastatingly negative, the company is likely to use the blog to address the complaints. When neglect is started, it is always vital to set time for the blog, or else it languishes. The loss of control over the blog content should be checked. Any information posted on the blog site should be controlled. Other risks include legal liabilities, losing the firm, decreased sales, and wrong lawsuits among others.
There is the likelihood that any of the above will adversely affect the organization. Thus, no person would not want to experience the same because it will be very costly to the organization and its employees.
Guidelines are considered to be considered
First, consider whether your content may calumniate a person, business, or product (Savell, 2007). Put in mind that a true opinion can be protected, and no one can prove it to be either true or false. Understand also that incorporating words and terms that are not absolute like ‘may’ or ‘might’ and ‘alleged’ or ‘reported’.
Second, restrain from copyrighting the other party’s material without their consent. Only materials owned by the company or have the right to their access can be incorporated or in the case of copyrighted material, credit the author.
Third, when using other parties’ trademarks or brand names, be careful. Before displaying any individual’s brand names or trademarks, seek permission. Avoid using domain names that allegedly infringe on existing trademarks and the use of trademarks of others in Meta tags (Savell, 2007).
Fourth, watch out for the potential invasion of privacy. As the host of the blog, do not interfere with other bloggers’ privacy but abide by your set legal policies.
Fifth, keep in mind the applicable advertising rules and regulations. Comply with applicable advertising, deceptive practice, consumer protection, and unfair competition laws and regulation (Savell, 2007).
Sixth, watch out for comments or posts by a third party. Some may post negative comments or illegal posts like plagiarized materials. Remember, it is possible to be caught responsible if sued by the sincere owner. In the case of infringing information, remove it immediately it is posted or once alerted.
Lastly, when providing an external link, beware to provide a disclaimer concerning your responsibility on the contents.
The legal department must approve the information intended for the blog and assign a lawyer to liaise with your team. The lawyer should educate and update you on the pertinent rights, and you should consult them on issues regarding the blog content.
These changes are to be implemented from the start of next month. I, therefore, apologize for the short notice. However, these changes aim at reducing the risks earlier mentioned. It is definite that, when we sensitize our company to significant legal issues and deal with them in advance, we will help reduce the risks of legal liability for corporate blogging. This step will save the company a lot of expenses which is beneficial. Thank you for your commitment and dedicated service in managing our blog.
I am referencing annotated bibliographies from various databases. One of them is by Savell. L entitled ‘Blogger Beware! Computerworld’ and was retrieved on February 26, 2013, from a business source complete database. This source highlighted some of the aspects that a person is required to know. Besides, it has outlined all the regulations and rules that underpinned consumer, and business activities.
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Another article is the ‘Blog Rules: A Business Guide to Managing Policy, Public Relations, And Legal Issues’ by Flynn N. and retrieved from the American management association. Some of the aspects highlighted included legal issues, public relations, and Management policies. All three aspects were aimed at protecting consumers and other competitors in the market. These were aimed at ensuring effectiveness and fairness in the creation of blogs.
A third example is the University of New South Wales. It is titled ‘Defamation and Media Law Update 2007’. Here, the aspects of media laws and their applications have been discussed. This was essential for this research because they brought out a clear understanding of defamation about business organizations. Responsibility for the content provided is also an essential element regarding the creation of blogs.
The final example is the overtone communication blog post done by Kami Huyse and is titled ‘Top Ten Risks for Corporate Blogs’. The source gives details on all risks associated with the production of corporate blogs. It gives adequate details on some of the actions or activities that constitute risks in corporate Blogs. There is also an explanation of some of the factors or contributors of the same. This source also highlights some of the measures that can be applied to someone that is found to have committed an offense.
Flynn, N. (2006). Blogs and Wikis. The Centre for Learning and Research in Higher Education- Elearning. Web.
Kami, H. (2007). Top Ten Risks of Corporate Blogging. Web.
Savell, L. (2007). Blogger Beware! Computerworld, 41(39), 32-34.
University of New South Wales. (2007). Defamation & media law update 2007. Web.