When Bob Lutz of GM or Jonathan Schwartz of Sun set up their blogs, they probably didn't worry too much about the review with Legal. After all, they "outrank" the senior legal counsel.
But how does, say, a midlevel corporate marketer or product manager set out to create an "official" blog with the blessing and sanction of Legal? It turns out, despite the prevalence of corporate blogging today, that there is still a fair amount of trepidation over the legal-review process.
Bloggers need to recognize that "sanctioned corporate" blogging is different from publishing a brochure or issuing a press release. Those documents go through a review process before being set in stone, and sometimes do undergo legal review.
Blogs should never go though a "sanitization" step (or they aren't really blogs and you shouldn't bother doing them), and a successful blog will usually include largely unmoderated or semi-moderated comments from the public.
We recently worked with Pete Steege to set up Seagate's first official corporate blog at storageeffect.com. Pete fairly sailed through the Legal review process. You can too!
Here are some steps to allay your own fears of Inquisition 2.0 and help your Legal team through their own fear and loathing of Enterprise 2.0 social networking:
It's not easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission
Legal is too often perceived as a roadblock and left out of the process until they discover it post-launch, and then they are obliged to sail down from on high with the wrath of an avenging angel.
Rich Julius is Partner, Interactive Services, Crimson Consulting Group (crimson-consulting.com). He specializes in designing usability into Web interfaces.