Does Your CEO Need a Blog?

Blog SignSeveral times a week, clients and colleagues ask me if they or their boss should be blogging.  My answer is usually a resounding Yes!, but I also know that a CEO blog usually involves writing on the part of the CEO and CEOs are rarely excited about adding another regular task to their already full plates.  As one client put it, “Joanna, when do you think I have time to blog?”

Seth Godin, one of my favorite bloggers and Web marketing mavens, says CEOs can’t and shouldn’t blog because they can’t get away from the corporate speak.

But I say that CEOs can and should blog in order to:

  • comment on what’s important in their field or industry
  • provide thought leadership for customers, staff or members
  • interact with customers, staff or members
  • provide another perspective on the organization and its activities
  • present a friendly (read not corporate speak) face to the world

Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve had this blog for just a few months and since I write all the posts myself, I know that a blog takes work.  I have to be interesting, post about timely and important topics, and present a perspective that is candid, if not entirely unique.  (I’m not entirely sure I succeed all the time, if at all, but I try anyway.)  It’s a commitment to post twice a week; heck, I posted once while on vacation in Costa Rica last week.

Here are some of my favorite CEO blogs:

NECA Transmissions by John Grau, CEO of the National Electrical Contractors Association

CounterIntuitive by George F. Colony, CEO of Forrester Research

CNewmark by Craig Newmark, Founder of Craiglist

Blog Maverick by Mark Cuban, CEO of the Dallas Mavericks

I have a client who says her organization finally decided to put up a blog because industry critics were blogging and grabbing all the attention.  A CEO friend says he’d rather be blogging and representing his company; otherwise, it might be lawyers, disgruntled employees and critics blogging about his company.

Baseline Magazine says, CEOs should blog or die.

3 thoughts on “Does Your CEO Need a Blog?

  1. If maintaining your own corporate blog is too much work — sometimes commenting on other people’s blogs can be just as effective (and can help with SEO if you include a link back to your website).

    Plus, I hear there are now blog coaches for execs. Some PR firms are offering this as a service, and they basically:
    * Monitor interesting industry blogs
    * Compile a list each week for the CEO to comment on
    * Review the CEO’s postings and say which comments they liked and didn’t like (for instance, the PR firm will point out when a particular comment is too much of a shameless product plug, or when a particular comment was really good, demonstrating thought leadership, moving the conversation forward, etc.)

    {Heck, a blog coach practically wrote this comment for me… Too long you think??}

  2. Hi Nate. Thanks for the note. I agree with you about getting a blog coach or a ghost writer; both can lighten the load and make blogging easier. And as long as the coach or ghost writer is speaking in the voice of the CEO and doesn’t just churn out another press release, the relationship is very beneficial. BTW, I always recommend having an editor for blog posts to edit, proof, and check for accuracy. After all, a CEO blog is often held to a higher standard.

    And no, I don’t think your comment was too long. I’m of the opinion that posts and comments can be any length, as long as they are substantive and well written. :-)

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