Last week I wrote about Nadine Haobsh, who lost her job as an associate beauty editor at Ladies Home Journal, as well as a new job at Seventeen, because of her after-hours blogging activity. Other bloggers have received reprimands or pink slips after flapping their loose lips online.

Think about it. Would any sensible employee type up a rant about his employer, photocopy it, and post it on billboards around the world? No. So why would an employee think he’s exercising his rights to “free speech” when he slags his employer in the blogosphere?

Bottom line: Employees need to smarten up, and corporations need blogging policies to help employees determine what’s OK and what’s verboten when it comes to corporate and personal blogs. Companies can derive huge benefits from encouraging employees to make their voices heard on blogs, but employees need to feel safe before venturing online. Not every situation is black and white.

If you need to create your own guidelines, check out Yahoo’s guide for personal employee blogs and
IBM’s blogging policy and guidelines.

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Writer, speaker, podcaster, communications and social media consultant, workshop leader and part-time university instructor. As a consultant, I emphasize the importance of storytelling and relationship-building, and enjoy helping people understand how today’s technology, combined with tried-and-true tactics, can help them communicate better with employees, customers and prospects.

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