Gini Dietrich

Pros and Cons of a Blogging Committee

By: Gini Dietrich | October 20, 2011 | 
72

It’s Facebook question of the week time (clap, clap, clap!).

Christina Huerta works for Keymark Enterprises, a company that creates 3D modeling software for engineers.

I have a friend who is the CFO for an aeronautics company and they use 3D modeling software to show clients and prospects what something will look like once it’s been produced.

It’s. So. Freaking. Cool.

Neither here nor there, but I wish we had a way to show, in 3D, what something will look like when we’re finished with it.

Alas! There is no such thing in a service business. So I’ll be envious of those who can show it.

Christina is blogging on behalf of the company (check it out by clicking here) and she wants to know whether or not she should create a committee to review blog posts.

She asks:

Should small (less than 100 staff) companies create blog committees to review weekly blogs, and if so what are positives/negatives, and do you have any examples of how to make blog committees work?

Before I answer Christina’s question, I have two questions for her: What are you trying to achieve with the blog and how is traffic?

Their blog seems really, really technical and, while admirable they want to provide tips on the math behind what they do, I’m going to guess it’s not largely effective.

I answer her question in the video below (which you can also view by clicking here), ask for your input, and also would like to discuss (in the comments) how we can help her launch her blog to higher readership.

I have some ideas and I’m sure you do too. So let’s see what we can do to help her.

And…don’t forget, if you have a question and would like three whole minutes of fame and fortune, head over to our Facebook wall and leave it there. I can guarantee I’ll answer the question, but not the fame and fortune.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

Spin Sucks in Your Inbox

72 responses to “Pros and Cons of a Blogging Committee”

  1. I say no on blogging committees. No. No. No. The blog needs to be informal and conversational to make the audience comfortable and willing to engage. If it gets too stuffy, you’re gonna have a hard time attracting a regular audience.

  2. ginidietrich says:

    @Anthony_Rodriguez A-freaking-men! I say no to committees, in general.

  3. NancyD68 says:

    Anytime there is a committee involved, the chance of any actual work getting done without being bogged down in red tape and ego drops considerably.

    My old job I would submit post for approval, and the other “experts” would tell me they wanted something else. What they wanted was more ego stroking. I would tell them the blog needed to be more about the customer, and they would tell me I didn’t know what I was taking about. 🙂

    The best thing to do is to let someone blog without everyone looking over their shoulder. Sure, check facts and grammar beforehand, and then just let it go. What i would suggest for a blog that technical is to maybe highlight their clients, and how the clients use the product. It would be less technical and more conversational that way. I think that would really help.

  4. @ginidietrich@Anthony_Rodriguez I’ll absolutely say no to committees. What any organization needs LESS of is bureaucracy and levels of approval. Blah.

  5. The Declaration of Independence practically never got published because of a ‘committee’. Poor Jefferson. But I digress….

    Committees, as a whole, are the bane of every person in the world that actually gets things done.Sadly, the majority of the time, committees are formed to reward its participants…and then they get busy exercising dominion over stuff they no not a dang thing about.

    Alas… 🙂

    Happy Thursday Gini!

  6. ginidietrich says:

    @Marcus_Sheridan You know what cracks me up about you? You could have written, “they know nothing about,” but you have to get the word “dang” in there. I really love that about you.

  7. ginidietrich says:

    @NancyD68 When we started blogging, five years ago, I used it like traditional PR in that everyone wrote their blog post and I had to approve it. After they started piling up in my inbox, I discovered there was a better way. Let people have their own voices. You trust them to represent you in every other fashion (phone, email, events) so trust them to do this, too.

  8. ginidietrich says:

    @NancyD68 When we started blogging, five years ago, I used it like traditional PR in that everyone wrote their blog post and I had to approve it. After they started piling up in my inbox, I discovered there was a better way. Let people have their own voices. You trust them to represent you in every other fashion (phone, email, events) so trust them to do this, too.

  9. @ginidietrich Well dang Gina 😉

  10. PeaSyne says:

    @TheSalesLion @ginidietrich – My fave quote on commtees ‘A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled’

  11. ginidietrich says:

    @Marcus_Sheridan I am going to beat you with a stick! And it’s going to hurt.

  12. Lisa Gerber says:

    Wow! A lot has changed since I left two weeks ago! The season, and the disappearance of that building! Thanks for showing that!

    PS. The word “committee” just has a negative connotation, doesn’t it? Process by committee, congressional committee…. I agree with you guys. Say no to committees.

  13. cxohuerta says:

    Thank you Marcus and Gini – I 100% completely agree with your response and feedback. 🙂

  14. cxohuerta says:

    @NancyD68

    Thanks Nancy – I really like your idea of highlighting clients in technical blogs.

  15. I worked in non profit for 15 years and ultimately had to get out because of my frustration with volunteer committees! To many fingers in the pot is a recipe for disaster. Committees are marginally different in the corporate sector…but not much. Blogging is a fast paced medium that is meant to engage readers meaningfully at a high level. The notion of a committee, to me, seems counterintuitive.

  16. I worked in non profit for 15 years and ultimately had to get out because of my frustration with volunteer committees! To many fingers in the pot is a recipe for disaster. Committees are marginally different in the corporate sector…but not much. Blogging is a fast paced medium that is meant to engage readers meaningfully at a high level. The notion of a committee, to me, seems counterintuitive.

  17. ginidietrich says:

    @Lisa Gerber I did that just for you. You’re welcome.

  18. ginidietrich says:

    @Ruth – The Freelance Writing Blog Oh volunteer committees are the worst! Isn’t it funny that we all hate them yet they exist?

  19. NancyD68 says:

    @ginidietrich And if you CAN”T trust them, then why are they working for you in the first place? I have a lot to say about this topic!

  20. NancyD68 says:

    @ginidietrich@Marcus_Sheridan And I am going to take pictures and sell them. Why? I need the money!

  21. ginidietrich says:

    @NancyD68 Totally agree!

  22. JayDolan says:

    I looked at that blog and my brain died. I can’t remember the last time I had to look at math like that, and I’m young!

    I say no on the committee. I have people proof my stuff for grammar, spelling, and accuracy, but you’re going to lose your voice and it will be near impossible to post on a regular basis.

  23. rustyspeidel says:

    Marcus is right–most of the time they are there to reward someone, or to weenie-wag. I was just on a conference call that was essentially a product development committee meeting. I wanted to leave after about 5 minutes because we had already determined (without realizing it) what our correct path was, but we spent the next 55 minutes interrupting each other to show how important we were to the process and how much we knew about the industry. The point is, we didn’t need a call. We needed someone (owner) to distill the essential points and premise down, get consensus, and then proceed.

    I think the same can be done with content. Decide the direction, frequency, tone, calendar. Get agreement on the plan. Go off and execute. Enjoy! Single voice, clear message, creative freedom. That’s what works. Committees kill ideas.

  24. rustyspeidel says:

    Marcus is right–most of the time they are there to reward someone, or to weenie-wag. I was just on a conference call that was essentially a product development committee meeting. I wanted to leave after about 5 minutes because we had already determined (without realizing it) what our correct path was, but we spent the next 55 minutes interrupting each other to show how important we were to the process and how much we knew about the industry. The point is, we didn’t need a call. We needed someone (owner) to distill the essential points and premise down, get consensus, and then proceed.

    I think the same can be done with content. Decide the direction, frequency, tone, calendar. Get agreement on the plan. Go off and execute. Enjoy! Single voice, clear message, creative freedom. That’s what works. Committees kill ideas.

  25. rustyspeidel says:

    Marcus is right–most of the time they are there to reward someone, or to weenie-wag. I was just on a conference call that was essentially a product development committee meeting. I wanted to leave after about 5 minutes because we had already determined (without realizing it) what our correct path was, but we spent the next 55 minutes interrupting each other to show how important we were to the process and how much we knew about the industry. The point is, we didn’t need a call. We needed someone (owner) to distill the essential points and premise down, get consensus, and then proceed.

    I think the same can be done with content. Decide the direction, frequency, tone, calendar. Get agreement on the plan. Go off and execute. Enjoy! Single voice, clear message, creative freedom. That’s what works. Committees kill ideas.

  26. ginidietrich says:

    @rustyspeidel Did you really say @Marcus_Sheridan is right on my blog?! Go to his blog and say it, but keep that crap off my blog!

    HAHAHAHAHA! I need the sarcasm font badly!

  27. ginidietrich says:

    @rustyspeidel Did you really say @Marcus_Sheridan is right on my blog?! Go to his blog and say it, but keep that crap off my blog!

    HAHAHAHAHA! I need the sarcasm font badly!

  28. ginidietrich says:

    @JayDolan Oh I remember. It was in college when I thought I’d minor in statistics. That thought lasted half a semester.

  29. cxohuerta says:

    So, if you read down into past blogs, you could probably tell which ones I wrote and which ones the technical staff authored. I’ve even tried to edit down some of the technical blogs – 13 yrs of working for engineers has trained my brain to do it – but I tend to bruise relationships when I hit “paragraph, select, delete” several times.

  30. DanOnBranding says:

    @ginidietrich Rock on. Good advice. Unless approvals are really fluid, review committees defeat the purpose of blogs. Trust your people.

  31. wagnerwrites says:

    @cxohuerta I feel for you. I edit technical material all the time and have for about 30 years. It’s hard to get the point across that you aren’t insulting someone’s intelligence to summarize and be succinct. With blogs, the best approach (SEO, readability, and otherwise) is to link to more technical articles for the people who really care/have a lot of time/want to check your conclusions. As for the committee? I agree with Gini but you can still call it a committee and convene it once or twice a year to set strategy and suggestion as she explained.

  32. wagnerwrites says:

    @ginidietrich@Ruth – The Freelance Writing Blog I belong to a thriving church community and keep telling people that I won’t be on another committee but will meet about specific issues. I keep saying, “Think of me as an In ‘n Out Burger kind of volunteer.” Maybe I need another metaphor because this is not working.

  33. wagnerwrites says:

    @ginidietrich@Ruth – The Freelance Writing Blog I belong to a thriving church community and keep telling people that I won’t be on another committee but will meet about specific issues. I keep saying, “Think of me as an In ‘n Out Burger kind of volunteer.” Maybe I need another metaphor because this is not working.

  34. ginidietrich says:

    @PeaSyne Ha! That’s awesome! I wish I’d had that for the video. Awesome.

  35. ginidietrich says:

    @DanOnBranding Exactly

  36. rustyspeidel says:

    @ginidietrich@Marcus_Sheridan I love the mix of “dang,” “alas,” and a misspelled “no” vs “know.” Brilliant!!

  37. ginidietrich says:

    @wagnerwrites@Ruth – The Freelance Writing Blog I think that metaphor is hilarious!

  38. ginidietrich says:

    @cxohuerta Um, yes. I can definitely tell. You know what I would do? Ask the technical guys one question and get their answer on video. Make them redo it if it’s just a talking head with no passion. They’ll get there and you won’t bruise egos.

  39. Tinu says:

    Hell No to committees. It’s blog suicide, it’s suicide to anything creative or innovative. It’s like saying, here, paint something breathtaking— but first let me take away your ability to decide what colors to use, when, how often. The poor camel is a horse made by committee I hear. I have clients who have to clear their every bowel movement with legal first and I feel bad for them. Most of the time they take the advice of finding various ways to get whatever approval department on board. But those stragglers – by the time the whole company can decide to tango to the right, the dance is over. Please, please don’t Volunteer for a committee approval process. Set some guidelines, agree on a process, and go for it.Also: love big video version of you, Gini.

  40. ginidietrich says:

    @Tinu The camel is a horse made by committee?! LOL!! Did you see about the lawsuit someone brought against their company because they had to have approval to use the bathroom during the day? I would die. As much water as I drink, I’d have to ask for approval once an hour. So yes, committees suck.

    And…thank you. Every time I think about replacing FBQOTHW with something else, you’re there to say you like me on video.

  41. Tinu says:

    No, don’t replace it! It’s a case study for how to engage, how to get your people to create micro-content and meet each other, community building… and how to look Awesome on camera. @ginidietrich

  42. ginidietrich says:

    @Tinu xoxo

  43. PeaSyne says:

    @ginidietrich 🙂

  44. PeaSyne says:

    @ginidietrich 🙂

  45. NO! NO! NO! For the love of everything that’s good and holy, don’t ever willingly create a committee! They are the death of anything creative and will bog down your process so that you never ever meet a deadline again. NO! NO! NO!!!!!!

    This whole conversation is already taking me to a dark, dark place.

    NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  46. wordsdonewrite says:

    There are pros??? RT @ginidietrich The pros and cons of having a blogging committee http://t.co/XVRW3fNG

  47. pocojuan says:

    @wordsdonewrite @ginidietrich the pros just do it – they don;t ask for permission they ask for forgiveness – after they post 🙂 Hi Amber!

  48. pocojuan says:

    @wordsdonewrite @ginidietrich the pros just do it – they don;t ask for permission they ask for forgiveness – after they post 🙂 Hi Amber!

  49. wordsdonewrite says:

    @pocojuan Hey Jon! I have much too much experience with committees having worked in nonprofits. They make my head hurt.

  50. ginidietrich says:

    @wordsdonewrite Well, no.

  51. pocojuan says:

    @wordsdonewrite well we might lose control, they might embarrass us, we can’t agree on what to say, we are risk adverse #analysis paralysis

  52. pocojuan says:

    @ginidietrich @wordsdonewrite No? honesty wld nvr mke it on fox news yu can’t sy evolution is only an idea & nt b evolved enuf to knowthdiff

  53. TheJackB says:

    @ginidietrich@Marcus_Sheridan You know it is always good to use a committee to beat someone with a stick otherwise you’ll get so dang tired…

  54. ginidietrich says:

    @WordsDoneWrite Wow Amber. I really wish you’d be more clear. It’s hard to distinguish what you’re thinking.

  55. ginidietrich says:

    @TheJackB@Marcus_Sheridan You know…that’s a really great point!

  56. @ginidietrich You’re right. Sorry to be so verbose. Let me rephrase. Ummm. No?

  57. @ginidietrich P.S. NOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  58. ginidietrich says:

    @WordsDoneWrite LOL!!

  59. wordsdonewrite says:

    @pocojuan Perhaps it’s time to form a committee to discuss the value of committees?

  60. pocojuan says:

    @wordsdonewrite That’s way too logical Amber, I mean really deja vu all over and over again – the solution is to have meetings w no chairs

  61. wordsdonewrite says:

    @pocojuan I like it! #StealAllTheConferenceRoomChairs

  62. pocojuan says:

    @wordsdonewrite yup, no if & or butts about it – bye th bye Agile progrmrs hav shrt intnse mtgs “Agile Scrum” no chairs allowed #energy

  63. RSA Course says:

    How about a group of people who search online to find other blogs that are relevant to Christina’s and then add comments to these blogs? Or search for websites that Christina could write other posts on. That may be a more effective use of a group of people’s time.

  64. Lisa Gerber says:

    @Tinu there is no like button on the iPad so I must declare my liking-ness of this comment.

  65. Brankica says:

    @ginidietrich@WordsDoneWrite Did she mean no with this comment? can’t figure it out…. 🙂

  66. ginidietrich says:

    @Brankica@WordsDoneWrite I think she meant no. It’s hard to tell, though, isn’t it?

  67. ginidietrich says:

    @Brankica@WordsDoneWrite I think she meant no. It’s hard to tell, though, isn’t it?

  68. ginidietrich says:

    @RSA Course LOVE that idea! We call that the response campaign here.

  69. ginidietrich says:

    @RSA Course LOVE that idea! We call that the response campaign here.

  70. Brankica says:

    @ginidietrich@WordsDoneWrite Just wish she finally makes up her mind and tells us what exactly she means 🙂

  71. Brankica says:

    @ginidietrich@WordsDoneWrite Just wish she finally makes up her mind and tells us what exactly she means 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  
Please enter an e-mail address

[postmatic_subscribe_widget]