This is the second post in our three-part series on overcoming common challenges to blogging for your content marketing program. Read the first part here.
Clearing the hurdle of finding time to blog—whether you’re soliciting guest bloggers, contracting freelancers, or training and deploying your own staff—is key to executing the blogging portion of your content marketing program. But clearing content with a legal team, for those who work with one, is a different hurdle entirely.
Particularly in the case of enterprise businesses, blogging and social media activities are often met with trepidation. After all, the legal team is tasked with protecting the company from lawsuits. And promises made in marketing content, whether in print or online, can encourage or discourage legal action.
To a legal team, social networks and blogs can appear out of control. Often, they aren’t subject to the same editing and approval processes as traditional, often short-term campaign content or collateral.
So how can you find a happy medium between the legal team’s concerns and your marketing goals? Here’s an example of how we managed this compromise for a national homebuilder client of mine:
- Negative comments
- Content review and approvals (Would a tight publishing schedule prevent the legal team from approving blog content?)
- A misunderstanding of the word “blog” (For our legal team, this conjured an image of chaos: unprofessional content, user-generated and unfiltered content, bad press, etc.)
- We’d start without a comments section and perhaps add one later with a filtering program or approval process in place.
- We’d schedule our content far ahead of time on the editorial calendar and include tasks for managing an approval process that ensured every blog entry could be reviewed by the legal team before publication.
- Instead of “blog,” we’d use the term “article center.”
Of course, legal concerns will vary from business to business and staff to staff, so it’s important to address these issues by hearing them out during a sit-down meeting. Whatever the concerns, they should be addressed directly to avoid conflict and mistrust between your legal and content marketing teams. As with my homebuilder client, you may find solutions as simple as new terminology. Or perhaps what you need is a public-facing social media policy for flagging inappropriate comments.
In any case, your legal team’s concerns can generally be eased with flexibility and planning. A thoughtful approach that includes listening and compromise should remove those common roadblocks to blogging and build a solid bridge between marketing and legal.
What kinds of legal challenges has your marketing team overcome? How did you arrive at the solutions? Please share your experiences with us in the comments.