After being shut out of the blogging world in July of 2007, CEO John Mackey returned to blogging on his corporate blog in May of 2008, with a post titled Back to Blogging. Through this blog entry, Mackey makes observations your company may wish to consider in the establishment of its blogging best practices:
“My mistake here was one of judgment—not ethics. I didn’t realize posting under a screen name in an online community such as Yahoo! would be so controversial…” What is your company’s view on the ethics of posting anonymously when the subject directly relates to your business and industry?
“The primary lesson I’ve learned is that because of Whole Foods Market’s success, I have become a public figure. My personal and work lives are now closely connected—and impact one another.” How is the line between personal expressions of opinion and professional viewpoints distinguished at your company?
“I don’t believe that I ever crossed the line of fair but vigorous debate in these postings. It is also important to understand that I did not single out Wild Oats as the only competitor I discussed. From time to time I also discussed and debated the virtues of food co-ops, specialty grocers and national and regional grocers.” What risks exist in maintaining anonymity when making comments that relate to competitors and industry organizations?
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