Forrester To Analysts: Personal Blogs Are OK Only Outside of Your Coverage Area

Independent research firm Forrester Research has changed its blogging policy for analysts. The company’s analysts are no longer allowed to have personal blogs that cover topics within their areas of coverage.

For example, a social media analyst can have a personal blog covering sports or travel, but not social media.

“…analysts with personal blogs must take the blog down or redirect readers to a Forrester-branded role-based blogs,” reports analyst relations blog Sage Circle, who first reported the news.

PRNewser reached out to Forrester PR, who directed us to the following statement by Vice President of Corporate Communications Karyl Levinson:

We believe we can best serve our clients in their professional roles by aggregating our intellectual property in one place – at Make no mistake: Forrester is committed to social media, and the number of our analyst bloggers is increasing, not decreasing. Analysts will still have the ability to blog outside of Forrester on topics not related to their coverage areas.

It seems that Forrester’s actions are in response to several high profile analysts who built personal brands — in part via blogging — while at Forrester and then left the company to start their own firm, Altimeter Group.

There are a slew of issues with this new policy. For example, what happens when Forrester courts someone to be an analyst who also has a blog and forces them to shut down their blog? Will this hurt recruiting efforts?

What about analysts that want to use their personal blogs to promote their speaking appearances, research or other industry related content? Will they not be allowed to do so?

Also, will other brands follow Forrester’s lead?

“Forrester will lose star analysts over restrictive social media policy,” said ZDNet’s Michael Kingsman. What’s your take? Does Forrester need to put in place a policy to protect its brand, or is it being overbearing on its employees and out of touch?