10 Reasons Why Your CEO Shouldn’t Blog
Recently a colleague sent me an article in the Puget Sound Business Journal about a CEO whose blog caused a stir because the post sparked a rumor about a potential sale. The CEO eventually deleted the entry.
As blog ging becomes more acceptable in the business world, more CEOs are starting to consider blog ging. CEO bloggers are still in the minority, but they stand in good company. Sun Microsystem CEO Jonathan Schwartz is one prominent example of a successful CEO blog ger. He has gotten a great deal of positive press for his blog . But I would tread carefully. There are plenty of people offering plenty of reasons for CEOs to blog . Here for your consideration are ten reasons not to:
10: Your CEO heads up a start-up and wants more people to pay attention to his or her company.
9: Your CEO heads up a Fortune 500 company but wants to stand out from the pack.
8: Your CEO thinks he or she should because his or her employees are blogging.
7: Your CEO thinks blog ging is less expensive than hiring professional PR and marketing teams.
6: Your CEO does not have the time to write his or her own postings.
5: Your CEO is not a good writer.
4: Your CEO is not comfortable with candid feedback or criticism.
3: Other CEOs are blog ging and he or she doesn’t want to cede a competitive advantage.
2: Other CEOs aren’t blog ging and he or she wants a competitive advantage.
1: Your CEO thinks he or she should.
Most PR folks have enough trouble getting their CEOs to blog . But blog ging for the wrong reasons can be far worse than not blogging at all. No one, whether they work in the mailroom or the executive suite SHOULD blog .
Blogging is for those who passionately believe they have something to say and who are willing to engage in an open candid conversation with the public. Especially for a CEO, blogging is an opportunity to put a personal face on a company’s leadership. It is forum to exhibit thought leadership and to add context to publicly disclosed information. For the CEO who understands the new communications reality, who is not afraid of criticism and who has the time to be personally engaged on a regular basis, then blog ging can pay big dividends.
For us in PR, we should encourage our executives to blog, but be prepared to explain that it is not a PR substitute. We need to explain the rules of engagement, but should also be prepared to advise against it when we feel it is not in the best interest of your CEO or the company to blog. A personal face to the company is one thing; discussions that don’t have a clear strategic advantage is another. (Gossiping or comedy routines would be bad reasons to blog.) But if your CEO chooses to blog, it may be difficult, but we need to step back and let him or her communicate freely with minimal PR oversight.
Let me get back to you.