Forrester takes the ’social’ out of social media

by Colin Shaw on February 16, 2010

Forrester is recalling its troops. 

After a number of years in the social media space and highlighting how to be a ’social’ business, Forrester has released a restrictive social media policy for its employees – one that aims to stop employess publishing personally-branded research blogs. In response to the reaction from the blogosphere, Forrester released a statement announcing the policy stating “We believe we can best serve our clients in their professional roles by aggregating our intellectual property in one place”. In my view what they really mean is they are worried that the personal brand their people are building is greater than Forresters and they are worried about themselves. Nothing to do with the Customer Experience’s or Customers Loyalty

Whilst employees “still have the ability to blog outside of Forrester on topics not related to their coverage areas.” it certainly feels like a controlling hand is being slapped down, and the door is being firmly closed after the horse has bolted. It raises a number of interesting points:

Forrester are clearly more worried about themselves than their employees.

Beyond Philosophy are a company who sell ideas. That’s all. So we are in the same place as Forrester regarding IPR. Contrary to Forrester, we have a policy of promoting our people. Note our next Webinar and our next book launched in September, will be written not just by myself, but Qaalfa Dibeehi and Steven Walden from the Beyond Philosophy team.

In our first book Building Great Customer experience we outlined Seven Philosophies for Building a Great Customer Experience. The fourth philosophy is:

Great Customer Experience are enabled through inspirational leadership and empowering culture and empathetic people who are happy and fulfilled.

Make your own mind up as to whether you think the action that Forrester are taking are following this philosophy. In my view it doesn’t.

Forrestor are clearly concerned that employees, such as Bruce Temkin at Customer Experience Matters, will become bigger than Forrestor and leave. In my view they should be focussing on creating such a great employee experience that people like Bruce would never dream of leaving.

Bruce’s blog has been the best Customer Experience in the blogosphere. To his credit Bruce has taken the honourable approach to the policy announcement and blogged on the implications for organisations planning similar policy changes. We sincerely hope that industry-leading voices such as Bruce Temkin aren’t held back by this policy and continue to provide the personalised insight into their passions that their followers crave.

What are your thoughts? Let us know….

By Colin Shaw | Published: February 16, 2010

Colin ShawForrester takes the ’social’ out of social media