Can business blogs be too personal?

If you read Microsoft mega-blogger Robert Scoble’s blog you’ll know that his mother is seriously ill and that the Scobleizer has taken offence that he’s still getting pitched by PR companies.

This raised lots of questions for me. Not very many of which were favourable to Scoble. If you choose to reveal details of your personal life on what is a professional/work blog then that’s your choice and you have to be able to deal with the consequences.

One of the problems for me is that there are lots of people going through serious personal trauma and most of them have to struggle to cope with balancing the needs of their family with work. If you remain at work rather than taking compassionate leave, or even quitting which what some are forced to do, then you’ve got to try to cope. Your colleagues will give you as much support as they can, but how far can you expect this to extend – customers, suppliers, competitors?

In the last few months Scoble’s situation has very much applied to me. The only hint on my blog has been the addition of an advertising banner for Jon’s Journey which was spotted by Dennis Howlett who then blogged about his experience of what I’m currently going through with my Mum. It is too painful for me to do the same, but I really appreciated and was moved by what Dennis had to say.

If I’d blogged about this I would hope for sympathy and support from friends (and in this I would include bloggers I have a relationship with but have never met) but I wouldn’t expect people much beyond this to treat me much differently. In fact I’m not sure I’d want them to. The fact that I’m at work means I’ve got to deal with the things I’ve got to deal with.

PRs shouldn’t be making naff pitches to Robert Scoble, ever. PRs shouldn’t be making naff pitches to anyone, ever. But the fact is there are lots of PRs who do it all the time, which means they are wrong all the time. The personal trauma aspect of it isn’t really that relevant. If you’re at work then you’ve got to deal with what is thrown at you.

The most intelligent commentary I’ve read about this has been on the excellent LOOSE wire blog by Wall Street Journal columnist Jeremy Wagstaff.

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Stuart Bruce

International Public Relations Adviser | Trainer | Author | Media Commentator | Conference Speaker | University Lecturer | Online PR | Digital Corporate Communications | Crisis Communications | Digital Public Affairs