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Gini Dietrich

Pros and Cons of a Blogging Committee

By: Gini Dietrich | October 20, 2011 | 
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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, a Chicago-based integrated marketing communications firm. She is the lead blogger here at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. She is the co-author of Marketing in the Round and co-host of Inside PR. Her second book, Spin Sucks, is available now.

60 comments
RSA Course
RSA Course

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.

Latest blog post: RSA Certificate

WordsDoneWrite
WordsDoneWrite

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tinu
Tinu

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.

DanOnBranding
DanOnBranding

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

rustyspeidel
rustyspeidel

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.

JayDolan
JayDolan

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.

Ruth - MarketingWise
Ruth - MarketingWise

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.

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

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.

Marcus_Sheridan
Marcus_Sheridan

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!

Lisa Gerber
Lisa Gerber

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

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@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.

Latest blog post: Six Reasons Entrepreneurs Suck

cxohuerta
cxohuerta

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.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

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

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@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.

wordsdonewrite
wordsdonewrite

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

ginidietrich
ginidietrich moderator

@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.

Latest blog post: Six Reasons Entrepreneurs Suck

wagnerwrites
wagnerwrites

@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.

wagnerwrites
wagnerwrites

@ginidietrich@Ruth - MarketingWise 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.

pocojuan
pocojuan

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

pocojuan
pocojuan

@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

pocojuan
pocojuan

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

cxohuerta
cxohuerta

Thank you Marcus and Gini - I 100% completely agree with your response and feedback. :)