In my last post, I gave some pointers on what to write about on your business blog. One of my suggestions was to give your perspective on hot topics. In light of the shock EU referendum result today (and I’m sure it was a shock, no matter which way you voted), I thought this point deserved a little more attention!
When something major happens in the news, many small business owners’ first instinct will be to avoid the topic like the plague. In the same way that we’re taught never to discuss politics or religion at the dinner table, it would be easy to assume that these things are better left unsaid, and that a “business as usual” approach is the best policy.
But in fact, a business which does not acknowledge the turmoil that their customers may be facing is not relatable. They are not in touch with their community, and they do not have their priorities straight. In short, they are not human.
It’s true that weighing-in on a controversial topic could be damaging for business, but it could be just as damaging to say nothing at all.
Even so, blogging about topical news stories should be approached with caution. To ensure that it’s the right decision for your business, let’s take a step back and consider these questions:
Does the issue impact my audience?
You should first consider whether this issue is going to have a direct impact on your audience; just because it’s headline news doesn’t necessarily mean it affects our own little ‘sphere of influence’. Does it impact the lives of your customers and their families, your local community or your wider business network? Is it something they care passionately about? If yes, you should consider writing about it on our blog.
Is it a divisive or controversial issue?
Not all major news items are as divisive as the EU referendum, but when they are, we should tread carefully. Whilst it’s important to acknowledge big issues and show humanity, this can be achieved without expressing opinion and ostracising part of our client base. Think about how you can broach it in a balanced way.
Is the issue relevant to my topic?
Topical articles that you post on your blog should still bear relevance to your normal subject matter. After all, that’s what your readers come to you for! You should consider how the issue sits within the context of your industry, or vice versa, and focus on this as the angle for the content. If no reasonable link can be made, then it’s a topic to raise elsewhere, not on your business blog.
How can I help my audience with this issue?
If the issue impacts your audience, can be addressed without bias and is relevant to your field of expertise, then the next question is: how can you provide value? Remember, that the purpose of your blog is to provide information that your customers are looking for and, in turn, build trust.
- Can you alleviate a concern they may be having?
- Can you shed light on an otherwise un-broached subject?
- Can you provide reassurance based on personal experience?
- Can you provide practical tips or advice?
These are all valid reasons to publish a blog post on topical issues.
So don’t be afraid to address contentious subjects through your business blog, but spend a little time thinking about the best way to serve your audience.
As long as you put your customers at the centre of your decisions, then you’re on the right track.
If you have any questions about broaching controversial topics on your business blog, feel free to tweet me.
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