Last Friday Tom Reynolds was let go from Telstra, which by itself is not a big issue, people get let go everyday. Where this little story gets a little interesting is Tom is a blogger, and not just a personal blogger but a corporate blogger on Telstra’s site called Now We Are Talking. Ok could be touchy but not a really big PR issue. Wrong! 2 days prior Tom had just written an inspiring post on how he was going to start working to open up the communication between Telstra and their customers, through his blog! Oops. Tom was talking about Scoble’s Laws of Corporate blogging, a fantastic list of 20 things you should do while corporate blogging. Unfortunately Tom now feels Scoble is a fool (is that a bit of link bait Tom? ).
Two points of note.
Firstly no mention of the issue in any of the Now We Are Talking blogs, ok maybe no one sees this as a big story? Only a few references right now in Technorati. Rod Bruem took the time to comment on Cameron Reilly’s post, it would be good to see a post from him on the situation, but they might be a bit busy with other PR issues.
Second point, your HR processes and blogging in my view the big issue here. There has been a bit of talk over the last couple of years about employee blogging policies in Australia, ok the lack of them. Eventually we will see them, but what about your other policies, ie termination. How do you let someone go in a manner that does not damage your brand, as has happened (or happening) with Tom? Are your manager’s trained in how to handle this?
Overall, if you are going to have employees who blog make sure you know how to handle them within all of your processes! Make sure you also know how to handle to blogosphere as well.