Blurred Boundries – Mercenary Audio Tone Deaf on Blogger

John Cass posted an interesting story on Friday about the firing of Drew Townson by Mercenary Audio. The post includes a lengthy email from CN Fletcher, the company’s CEO. In it, Townson’s personal blog was cited as the “straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Here is an excerpt from Fletcher’s email that addresses the blogging issue:

Any blog that references “professional audio” in any manner, by any employee of Mercenary Audio will have that “blogger” viewed as a representative of Mercenary Audio. Mr Townson was somewhat active on the Internet as a representative of Mercenary Audio. The general public would have had a difficult time distinguishing a “personal blog” from a sanctioned Mercenary Audio “blog” or website. Mr. Townson’s blog does not have to directly mention our company name to still have it associated with Mercenary. By referencing “professional audio” in his blog site he drew the credibility of Mercenary Audio into question. The owners and management of Mercenary Audio do not necessarily agree with his personal opinion concerning “chili”, “recordings” or any other subject. By calling his blog site “Mics, Drums, and Rock & Roll: A Music Recording Blog!” he entered Mercenary Audio into a place the company ownership and management did not necessarily want to go. Talking about such subjects on a professional audio related “bulletin” board is one thing, creating an unsanctioned web presence that referenced “professional audio” and these subjects was a direct violation of company policy, and he was told that was a violation of the wishes of both ownership and management.

PR Communications: Mercenary Blogger Is Fired: Mercenary’s Side Of The Story

So the way I read this is that Townson – who has spent more than 20 years in the music industry – is not (according to Mercenary) permitted to talk about something he clearly cares about, is knowledgeable on and has opinions of. Wow. So even though he never mentions the company’s name name, they jump ugly on him for sharing his ideas and opinions. Talk about stifling conversation.

This policy – if their reactionary attitude qualifies as such – demonstrates an abject failure to understand the idea behind blogging and social media. The company worries that Townson’s personal blog “entered Mercenary Audio into a place that they company ownership and management did not necessarily want to go.” Maybe no one told them that they don’t have the right to sanction an employee’s ideas? In either event, I wonder if the various posts and comments that are springing up about this do represent a place the company wanted to go. I certainly hope so, because they’re there now. . .

[tags]Mercenary Audio, Drew Townson, Drewcifer, John Cass, blogging, social media[/tags]

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