Over the last week or so ghost blogging has been a big issue – a quick look at Dell’s B2B Social Media Huddle Twitter stream (#DellB2B) will show you a range of opinions.
As many have pointed out including Wolfstar’s Stuart Bruce there is some confusion over the difference between a fake blog (astroturfing) and a ghost blog – which is essentially writing a post on someone’s behalf or in conjunction with them. The analogy of a scriptwriter has been used to support the ghost blog argument.
There are clearly two schools of thought when it comes to ghost blogs: the purists who find this practice unacceptable and the pragmatists who realise that for a variety of reasons including time, writing ability and consistency that corporate blogs may need assistance and be ghosted by PR people. Agencies write press releases, publications, website copy, newsletters for clients etc – so why not corporate blogs?
Whilst, I sympathise with the pragmatist view – I think from the outset agencies need to explain that blogging is a discipline that involves time, not only that, it offers a different line from the corporate schpeel we are accustomed to. Essentially, blogs are an opportunity to demonstrate a more human side to an organisation. Also, what would happen if a member of the public quizzed a CEO about a ghost blog post? Would they be able to respond?
Although, agencies are well placed to ghost blog, I feel organisations will portray a more authentic side if corporate blogs are written by someone who works at the company, someone at the coal face – otherwise it is just a PR person’s take on the organisation.