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May 26, 2006

Blogging Below the Belt - Corporate Blog Support Services

By Michael L. Clark

“Unless you’re a parent, you really can’t understand what I’m going through.” Ever heard that? The truth behind those simple words lies in one’s inability to identify experientially with another. For companies, however, the mantra they fear repeating may be, “Unless you’ve been targeted by attack blogs, you can’t possibly understand.”

Blogs began several years ago as a tool for online diaries. Today, they are the primary method for brand-bashing, personal attacks, political extremism and smear campaigns. With an estimated worldwide audience of 900 million, millions of blogs already in existence, and a hundred thousand new blogs created daily, the rapidly expanding blogosphere serves as both an advertiser’s dream and a marketing nightmare – depending on the nature of information that’s being promoted.

The blend of immense reach and legal immunity makes a potent recipe for corporate character assassination. Scores of often anonymous, virulent “investigative” and “factual” articles have crippled and even destroyed businesses, and the intoxicating power of negative “press” will only intensify. Some attack blogs are produced by individuals with an agenda, others by companies criticizing their competitors, while still others exist for the sole purpose of creating a stir. Regardless of the source, attack blogs are a reality that must be addressed by companies both small and large.

If a blogger wants to initiate an attack against your company, he has only to sit at a keyboard. However, MasterLink has developed a system of proactive, aggressive defense. The MasterLink Standard Blog Support Services program consists of 5 Levels, all at competitive investment pricing:

• Level I – Initial Internet Scan and Response
• Level II – Monthly Blog Service
• Level III – Third Party Blog Production
• Level IV – Company Blog Creation and Operation
• Level V – Forensic Blog Research/ Legal Review

Click here for details and subscriptions.

Blogs are here to stay. Once the attacks begin, companies can risk being blacklisted and having reputations shattered, or refuse to live in fear and fight smears with facts and expertise.

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