Airbag Industries

Fail.

After six years big business still has no idea what to do with this blog thing.

The Blog Council, a professional community of top global brands dedicated to promoting best practices in corporate blogging, officially launched today. Founding members include the leading companies from a diverse range of business sectors: AccuQuote, Cisco Systems, The Coca-Cola Company, Dell, Gemstar-TV Guide, General Motors, Kaiser Permanente, Microsoft, Nokia, SAP, and Wells Fargo.

Oh, that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Of course, these are the companies that should know right? I mean they’ve been using Trapper Keepers and Daytimers all their lives, so blogs are just like that right? A neat folder system for your mind-thoughts?

The Blog Council exists as a forum for executives to meet one another in a private, vendor-free environment and share tactics, offer advice based on past experience, and develop standards-based best practices as a model for other corporate blogs.

Read: We’re going share notes on how we pretend to be fifteen year olds who can’t stop blogging about how great our products are and how to avoid being sniffed out as a fraudlog two hours after the first post. Oh, and we’re going to have a lovely salad with Pacific Northwest farmed salmon for lunch.

Representing thought leaders from corporate departments as diverse as corporate communications, global communities, marketing and customer service, the Blog Council’s advocacy role functions as a collective voice in support of responsible, ethics-based corporate blogs. Other issues the Council will address include:

As someone who’s been at this for years, lets answer these questions right now and maybe save some of you the horror of having to stay overnight the Sheraton Orlando.

How do global brands manage blogs in more than one language?

Hire individuals who speak the native language (and I don’t mean as a second language). Provide them with the full experience of what you are trying to shlep and let them write about it in a way that energizes the local population.

What do you do when 2000 employees have personal blogs?

Rejoice?!

Oh, I mean indoctrinate the workers on the heroic qualities of your brand. Let them know that lawyers are monitoring their feeds and at the first sign of dissent, they will be sent to Gitmo’s Executive Bootcamp for Re-Education. Remind them that blogging is not the road to liberty—their voice represents the brand at all times, even when they might be writing about an obsession with Lisa Frank products.

What is the role of the corporate brand in a media landscape increasingly geared toward consumer-generated media?

Dynamic Global Revenue Upstream says what? Here’s an idea: make fantastic products and services and stop trying to control the citizen voice. It only comes back to haunt you. Always has, always will.

What is the correct way to engage and respond to bloggers who write about your company?

First, don’t freak if someone says you suck. Ask them why, take notes, and try harder. Second, don’t freak if someone says you rock. They didn’t blog about it to get more attention or free stuff (that’s always nice but we don’t like it when companies try too hard).

“Every major corporation is struggling with the question of how to use blogs and engage the blogosphere the right way,” said Sean O’Driscoll, General Manager, Community Support Services for Microsoft. “The Blog Council brings together precisely the people who need to explore these issues together, in a productive and private networking environment.

Yeah that makes sense. Explore and talk about a very, very public medium behind closed doors (What the hell is a private networking environment anyway? Tell me they provide free t-shirts: PNE-4-EVA). That’s perfect! As long as you keep doing that, you’ll always need your stupid councils to discuss why the cool kids think you’re an idiot. Well played, asshats.

Maybe if you spent time actually blogging and engaging the community personally, not as a corporate stooge you might learn a thing or two, but I understand it’s a lot easier to get a free chicken-based lunch at a pompous council meeting than it is through a trackback.