Does a CEO need to blog?

If you were to take one look at the world today, it would be obvious that social media has become a very important communication tool. Ask yourself this question “can a CEO remain relevant if they are not versed in this new communication style the world has adopted?”

More and more social media is changing our consumers and our employees. This change is frightening at times, we recently discovered that younger generations have a total disregard for email communication and prefer to communicate in social and business contexts through social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Even older generations are warming to social media communication with 128 000 new CEO’s joining LinkedIn in South Africa alone.

In general there seems to be a mixed opinion about a CEO having a blog. Some believe it to be something they should only engage in once they have the time to manage it correctly (which may never happen) and others seem uninterested. There is a small group of blogging CEO’s who are embracing this new communication style and using it very effectively to engage with employees and customers.

Think of a blog as a place to drive company vision, address general concerns, highlight great stories about customers and to educate your employees on matters that concern your business.

Zappo’s CEO’s have also used their blog to update employees on the progress of specific projects and achievements. I would like to suggest taking a look at the CEO & COO blog for Zappo’s to see how they have successfully used it to promote and communicate the vision of the business and deal with employee concerns about business changes – especially after the Amazon buy out. This is a great example of effectively using a blog as a business leader.

Blogs can also be used to improve your personal profile by blogging on specialized topics. As a CEO of a social media agency, I use my blog to promote the internet marketing industry I work in and recently Keith Coats used the TomorrowToday’s New World of Work blog to share his directive as a “story telling” CEO. Keith’s article was key to communicating his leadership style to the TomorrowToday team as he took the reigns as CEO.

So if you are planning to start a blog as the CEO of your organisation here are a few tips:

Use you blog to lead by example

Share examples of the type of leadership and work ethic you believe makes your organisation better. Highlight great customer experiences and new product breakthroughs. Don’t be shy to give credit where it is due.

Use your blog to educate and motivate

You can’t educate and motivate each person in your organisation personally but a blog does allow you an increased chance for your employees to hear your vision straight from you. You are also able to share insight into your motivations and by passing these on they usually inspire and motivate others.

Keep your blog personal and authentic

Don’t get your PA to write this for you. It’s value is that its from you. If you are not a strong writer then write the “essence” of the article and a basic structure and let someone edit it for you.

CEO Blogging

Reply to your comments

Replying to comments this will show people you care about your readers and that the opinion you share on your blog is actually yours.

 

To find out more about how to harness social technology in you business please take a look at our presentation “Social Reinvention

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4 Responses to “Does a CEO need to blog?”

  1. Liron Segev - TheTechieGuy November 30, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    Well put Mike. As you said, there doesnt seem to a definitive Yes or No answer to the questions should CEO blog.

    in my experience, a CEO that Blogs is one that is embracing Social. They might not like it at first, but as they get into it and receive comment, they tend to enjoy it (dare I say).
    My “convincer” : CEO usually send a weekly/ monthly email to the company. This is the exact thing that could be put onto the Blog – so they are practically doing it anyway.
    What it does offer now is that the comments are public. So no only motivated staff but external people get to feel the exciting buzz at the company too.

    No better form of marketing !

    • Mike Saunders December 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

      Thanks Liron.

      Very interesting comments about the weekly updates being used as blog articles.

      I think CEO’s are quite fearful of that information being public but that can be easily solved with a private blog setting.

      Thanks again for the comment!

  2. Saffron Baggallay December 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Mike this is a fantastic and really important post. For me, authenticity is key. In order words, if researching, writing, commentary interests you, then blogging in a fabulously useful space/ tool to make use of. But, like all social media tools, people will see if it is not authentic and then I wonder if it becomes even more dangerous, if you are the CEO. Why? Because ‘real’ leadership’ is ‘new’ leadership.

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