Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Beware of the blog

Bosses must beware of the risks of using internet blogs to promote their company - that's the message from our Employment Law Specialist, John Mehtam.

Corporate blogs can be invaluable in helping to increase publicity, but there are risks and pitfalls with this type of approach, and it's important that employers understand what they're letting themselves in for.

"You need to consider carefully who will write the blog - are you, as a director, going to take it on, or are you going to let your staff have their say?

"If you're writing it yourself, you must be honest, because if you oversell your business, the blog could backfire. The same goes for your employees, so beware of giving them the opportunity to say what they like or you could face serious problems."

John said if you did let your staff loose on the blog, it was vital to make sure they didn't use it to harass each other online, as all employers had a duty of care to protect their employees against bullying in the workplace.

"You should also monitor the blog carefully to make sure the employees don't say anything derogatory about your competitors, or you could face a libel case and as a director, you will be held personally liable.

"Making the most of the latest technology to promote your business is an excellent idea, but you need to take care to avoid the pitfalls such an opportunity creates."