Corporate blogs are powerful in so many ways - changing perceptions being one of them. Sun is famous for leveraging the blogosphere for goodness with their open blogging policy which encourages all employees to participate in the blogosphere. Direct communication with customers can be used as damage control if you can show customers the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when a product isn't perfect or thank them for an idea on a feature they hadn't considered. Responding to negative comments and posts offers an outlet to showcase customer service. This communication can convert a naysayer into an enthusiast and research shows that converted critics are the most enthusiastic fans (who doesn't want more fans). Here are two examples where Sun changed the tone of a customer: A Reponse from Sun and Kudos to Jonathan Schwartz - if that's not enough, take this into consideration - according to Jonathan Schwarz, president and CEO of Sun, "blogging has played a major role in the revitalization of Sun's reputation. Sun has gone from the 99th to the 6th most popular server company, largely because it has embraced authenticity and transparency in its communication initiatives”, according to the piece.
If you want tips on how to respond to negative comments and posts check out Andy Sernovitz, author of Word of Mouth Marketing blog post: A positive response to negative word of mouth.