Professional Blog, Personal Opinion - Social Media Explorer
Professional Blog, Personal Opinion
Professional Blog, Personal Opinion

Yesterday I offered a little personal tome about voting. I felt awkward posting it since this blog is not about politics, nor my personal opinion. Yes, my feelings on certain issues percolate from time to time here, but you don’t read this blog for Jason’s personal world view. This blog is about social media, public relations, marketing and communications. My opinions on those topics is fair game. But how far outside that realm is acceptable?

The majesty of blogging is that it is what you make it. While it is clear this website serves as a conduit for people interested in working with me or Kat through our agency, Doe-Anderson, it is my blog, a personal possession, that I can use however I like. Straying off the beaten path is my decision to make. I only risk losing readers (or possibly gaining others) if I do that.

But strategically, it’s not always smart to do that. And the closer you get to a targeted, business-oriented blog, the more important it is to remember that there’s a time and place for your personal views and the blog often isn’t one of them.

Before posting yesterday’s tome, I polled my Twitter followers on the topic, expressing no desire to start a personal blog for such instances when I just want to offer up something off topic, and asking if they thought it was okay to divert from what the audience comes for on occasion. Here’s what they said:

Craig Kessler


The election is happening one way or another. Might as well post and have your opinions be heard. It will stir up debate.



I often wonder why ppl would be annoyed by a blogger writing something personal. Dont we have personal lives too?

Julie Bush


– I’d welcome your post on voting or just about any subject you find to be important…

Lisa Hoffmann


You’re forgetting that we all see you as person, not a “blogger.” Think the occassional personal post adds dimension. I like it.



Good question. As my biz blog takes on more of my personality, i have less to say in my personal blog. Wheres the line?

Julie Niesen


I did rant about blogging etiquette when someone plagiarized my content. Does that count? :)



– way too much hate out there, brother. I am politically mute. Way too friggin’ ugly.



Why not? It’s something that’s on everyone’s minds. I say go ahead. Just try to tie it in to the main topic of your blog

Natalie Ebig Scott


Bottom line, it’s yours. If it becomes uber personal, you risk losing readers. I don’t think that will happen…

Thomas Powell


You could probably have a “sidebar” section of the site if you’re so inclined.

R Lemley


I think it’s all in the execution: is the “personal” judgemental? Alienating? Or fairminded,open&considerate to your community?

Andre Blackman


I feel like you can write abt personal stuff occaisionally – its your blog, if ppl dont wanna read it, they dont have to?

Susan Getgood


to some extent yes. depends on how much you want to write. a little now & then is fine. a lot, best to take it to a new space

Brandon Chesnutt


aren’t all blogs, on some level, personal? Personal opinion and beliefs typically have some level of influence over the content

Andre Natta


that’s what I tend to do – though I’ve been too swamped to even have a personal opinion recently ;-)



I’m struggling with that right now too. I stopped blogging about politics in 2005 and now I really want to post one but can’t!

Tony Katz


what’s the topic? I blog on AdGrinder, but never politically…I save that for…what is the context of your blog?



Also having a strong character and believes will garnish u respect from your hardcore followers!

Julie Niesen


For me, because my topic has nothing to do with politics, I haven’t voiced an opinion on my blog.



its easy to move off topic, but your blog should center around one topic and stay on point, put personal on your own blog



yes, will read it on your personal blog. Not that I am not interested…

Michelle Jones


You’re a person, you have an opinion, if you feel compelled to share then share. You know the mantra: Be Human.

Melanie Baker


Long as, y’know, you don’t just spout off or act completely self-servingly with it.

Melanie Baker


I think injecting a bit of humanity can add a good tone, and provide content variety.



its all in what is the purpose of your blog? Is it to give your readers a piece of your mind, or is it to stay on topic? I



You may lose a few readers but u will gain many more! But it will depend on your character and confidence, if u succeed or fail

Sasha Kovaliov


I think a bit of personal touch is a good. People want to know who you are.

Amber Naslund


Post. The last thing we need right now are too many filters, and your perspective is always a valuable one.



What is wrong with an Opinion?

Clearly, it seems okay to write what I wrote yesterday, so long as I stick to social media topics most of the time. But where is the limit? Who draws the line?

Then consider the problem with a brand or corporate blog. Part of the reason consumers aren’t as attracted to them is they are two stale, predictable and safe. Companies, CEOs and brand managers play the safe route. Taking a stand normally means 50 percent of the people hate you. God forbid!

But isn’t that what makes a company interesting? Engaging? Human?

What if you stumbled across a corporate blog yesterday where the CEO or Chief Marketing Officer or some other blogger for the company took a stand, picked a candidate to endorse and listed the reason’s why? Wouldn’t it make you more interested in that company? Sure, it would upset some brand enthusiasts and loyalists, not to mention some people inside the company, but most businesses can be held up to the political litmus test and prove that one side or the other winning is more beneficial for the company. Why not state the case and explain why?

If Bob Lutz blogged yesterday that General Motors benefits from a McCain victory because the Republican agenda is tougher on foreign trade and labor unions than the Democrats, the automotive industry would be on fire today. It’s not wrong for someone to take a stand. Why is it wrong for a company to do so?

I’ve offered the advice here before that to be successful in brand building, and in blogging, you have to be bold. That is true for companies as it is for individuals.

How will your company be bold today?

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About the Author

Jason Falls
Jason Falls is the founder of Social Media Explorer and one of the most notable and outspoken voices in the social media marketing industry. He is a noted marketing keynote speaker, author of two books and unapologetic bourbon aficionado. He can also be found at
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  • I must get a category called Phliosophy :) Seriously though, here's my take…1) it's your blog.Your rules. You should feel free to say whatever you wish. A blog is like your house in a way. Everyone who visits it has to respect that. No one can tell you what to do in your own home…and you can't please everyone all the time.

    2) it seems on a business related blog we tend to restrict ourselves to only business topics, not a bad idea. If it's focused on a topic you probably want to stay on topic as much as possible however the odd personal post I think is a good thing. The most interesting blogs are those that have personality, aren't afraid to show it and don't come across like a web site.

    I have a business and personal blog…. on my personal blog I am a lot more personal and I am more informal. On my business blog people can find some personal stuff about me… I did the second biggest meme ever….The biggest , at 100 is on my personal blog.

    @igorthetroll – On companies being human… the thing is a company is not a person, neither is a company brand so I think it's different. Companies are made up of groups of very different people and a mixture of different even opposing views who all agree to work for a common goal and mission. So I believe taking political positions can be tricky… they also are beholden to many stakeholders. I don't think CEO's can take publicly political stands….even if they hold strong personal views. They have to represent their stakeholders, including employees, customers, supplliers etc.

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  • I applaud you for using your blog to express your opinion on a very important matter for our country.

    While I understand your dilemma due to the focus of your blog and your position at Doe-Andersen, I think there are certain times that our blogs should be used to express your deep feelings about topics (i.e. the election, Blog Action Day, etc). One or two posts which are off the normal track out of hundreds of other focused posts helps to show other sides of your personality.

    Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Justin. I think it's funny no one really noticed I didn't take a stance on which candidate.

      • I definitely noticed but I think even if you did take a particular stance then that's ok too. It was an emotional election for a lot of people and I have enjoyed reading the different posts, whether they took a particular stance or not.

  • KatFrench

    It's all about the context…

    As you've noted, this is a particular business-y blog with a business-y purpose… and a very human voice (to which I'm proud to contribute).

    Ultimately, your post urging folks to vote has an implicit, if not explicit, connection to social media, which is all about individuals finding, and using the social web to amplify, their voice.

    I think the key difference is that for many corporate blogs, the purpose of the blog is to be an official, if more informal, channel for a publicly-held organization. In other words, while a blog allows more leeway in HOW the company says things, it doesn't grant total freedom in WHAT it can say.

    Ultimately, if content is counter to the best interests and purpose of the blog, it doesn't make the editorial cut. And let's not pretend that all kinds of content fails to make the editorial cut in blogging, even personal blogging, for all sorts of reasons. But those reasons often boil down to “it's counter to the best interests of what I'm trying to do here.”

    • True, but my point is that the corporate blog should allow more leeway in what the company can say, too. People don't trust companies unless they start acting human. A company stance can make that connection.

  • As mentioned in the Twitter responses above, bloggers are people too. They're not entirely objective by any means. That's what makes blogging so fun…you get to know the person and you know you're reading a real person's work, not some journalism machine.

    • True Tim and thanks for stopping by. But what about the corporate blog? Why is it companies can't be people (or at least the authors of those blogs be people) in their own space?

  • BillSledzik

    Like you, I try to keep my blog focused on issues related to my field, public relations. But I think it's also important to put yourself out there — to be human. And to be human is to have opinions.

    But I want to comment on your question, because it's so important: “It’s not wrong for someone to take a stand. Why is it wrong for a company to do so?”

    No, Iit isn't “wrong” for a company exec to take a stand. But when you do, it comes with consequences — consequences can hurt your business and, in turn, the employees who depend on it and the stockholders who invested in it.

    Dan Cooper, CEO and founder of Cooper Arms, learned this lesson the hard way. He was driven from the top job of his own company because he dared support a candidate other than the one favored by the NRA. (Disclosure: I'm an NRA member and an Obama voter.)

    Yes, Dan is entitled to his opinion, and I support him 1000%. But he was naive to think it wouldn't draw the ire of the gun nuts — many of whom are his regular customers and supporters. For the sake of the company, Dan should have kept his presidential preference to himself. Free speech isn't free. Remember that.

    A link to the story:

    • That's a fair point, Bill, but my point goes farther up the ladder. Perhaps Cooper Arms is a bad example, but the company ought to embrace having a personality.

  • From our conversation last week, I gather that the election is a topic you had deep passion for. Shouldn't everything we blog about be something that we're on fire to share? With the line between professional and personal so blurred today – even your hypothetical GM example shows that…wait a second, is there a line anymore with the advent of social media?

    • The line shouldn't be there, Peter, but it is. Especially in big corporations. The election is a perfect example. Most businesses benefit clearly from one side winning. But so that stock holders, employees, potential customers and other partners aren't pissed off at them, executives just donate to campaigns and keep their mouths shut. Companies aren't bold because taking a stand theoretically alienates half of your target. What they seem to forget is they're not getting half in the first place. Why not just get a smaller fraction of the total target that happens to be nuts about your brand because of your stance and personality?


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