Putting your CEO to blog
Last weekend over breakfast at the Hyatt one of my PR colleagues said she was thinking of getting her CEO to blog.
I am not sure why.
My colleague’s CEO has got one of the most stilted voices I know and I am not talking tonality. He’s just does not come across in the public or in his organisation as passionate, friendly, genuine, interesting, authentic, honest, open.
These qualities may not be necessary for churning out profits (he does a great job at that) but they are when it comes to corporate blogging.
Corporate blogs should have charisma. They should draw you in. Offer unexpected points of views. Confirm what you’ve been thinking all along. Be curious. Sometimes controverisal. They should make you pause and through the posting of comments, allow you to take in the wisdom of the crowd.
It is clear that major companies should have "specific skills bloggers" who can blog reliably and credibly in their areas of expertise. Your CEO can be one and he or she can certainly add credibility as in the case of Bill Marriott of the Marriott chain of hotels whose blog is one of the most popular in corporate America.
But if your CEO wants to bloging about technical information or the financials, your blog won’t be sufficient to attract long term readership and participation. The blogger must be sensitive to what people want to hear, not just what he or she wants to write about.
When Bill Marriott spoke at the IABC conference in New York last year, I was struck by how much of his prsonality he put into his blog. In writing about his chain of hotels he shared experiences about different cultures, his employees, and even his dog. When the hotel was bombed in Inida his blog demonstrated his crisis leadership abilites and his humanity.
The learning here for me was that a bit of personal experiences will enable readers to get an emotional connection with your CEO. This is important in corporate blogging.
Despite the advances of Twitter I think that blogging offers a remarkeable way for great companies to offer opportunities for co-creation of brands and reputations with their publics.
But in doing so, a word of wisdon.
Your corporate blogger is the message and just the conveyor and too much obvious message discipline on the part of the CEO will lead to rejection of your blog as another corporate contrivance.