A bunch of writing has been done by myself and others about how “consumers now co-create the brand”.
But what about employees? Are they co-creators, too?
Many, many fortune 1000 companies are afraid to let their own employees blog. “What if they say something we don’t like?” is the question I hear from potential clients. But actually the question is “what don’t you know [that’s already going on]?”
My colleague, Bruce LaFetra, wrote an email to me today to say:
I don’t see how the employee blogger is really that different from any other customer-facing employee. Of course, the big difference is that most bloggers are not (otherwise) customer facing… and they reach a much larger audience than the typical employee.
I always love the story (from many years ago) about Schneider National trucking and its dress code for truck drivers. The rationale was that for most of their customers, the driver was the only employee of Schneider National they would ever meet.
Because blogging is like any other communication — more amplified perhaps — but just another signal in the spectrum to say what your firm is, what it represents, and what it believes.
Treat your employees like your best customer. Because they are. And perhaps they create your brand by living it. And they certainly communicate your brand every day. Don’t worry about blogging, but do make sure your brand and what you believe is embodied in your team.