- What strategy should the learning and human resource department have with regard to blogging?
- What guidelines should be in place for how your employees blog, i.e. what topics to stay away from and how to use blogging as a way to build stronger bonds with your customers?
Often I hear comments like, “my leadership is afraid of blogging,” or “we have strict rules allowing a small number of senior people to blog and our department is not included in this small number of senior executives.”
It seems to me there are some larger questions you should be addressing like:
- Does your CEO know what a blog is?
- Should your CEO have a blog?
- Has your CEO blog been reviewed in the blogosphere?
- Do your top three competitor CEO’s have blogs?
- Are these competitor CEO blogs a corporate communications tool or does the CEO really post about significant issues?
Interesting questions to ponder as more companies begin experimenting with social media to develop trust, improve communications and increase vehicles for employee development.
To find out about what your competitor CEO’s are doing in terms of blogging, I recommend you go to TheNewPR CEOBlogsList Wiki.
To date, 58 of the Fortune 500 companies have blogs. But in most cases, the blogs are company blogs, many maintained by corporate communications departments (like Clorox, which has one that answers questions about stains), rather than CEO’s penning their own blogs.
But there are notable exceptions and two CEO’s come to mind that regularly post to their blogs. One is Jonathan Schwartz CEO of Sun Microsystems who posts on a regular basis about his interactions with customers around the world. The other is Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and CEO of HDNet.
As you continue to research what strategy to adopt and to create a set of guidelines with regard company blogging, I recommend consulting a survey recently conducted by content security company,
The survey was conducted among 939 corporate decision-makers on matters related to corporate blogging, wiki’s and participation in online networks/forums and other aspects of the so-called Web 2.0. Some highlights from the survey found:
- 20 percent of IT and business decision-makers don’t have a policy governing appropriate use of the Internet, including social media sites
- 39 percent of IT and business decision-makers consider social media to be relevant to today’s corporate environment, while 36 percent do not see social media as relevant to their businesses
- 13 percent of organizations are not aware of social media and have no policy on it
So before your begin to develop a policy for your Human Resources and/or Corporate Learning department regarding blogging, wiki’s and other social media, first find out what your company policy is regarding the usage of social media at work. For Human Resource and Corporate Learning professionals, I find the Sun blog policy to be highly informative.
Finally, let’s continue a dialogue on CEO’s as Bloggers:
- Should more CEO’s be bloggers?
- Should this be part of their job in next 5 years?
- Should CEO bloggers participate as part of a corporate communications strategy or use blogging to begin a “real” dialogue with customers?
- And how can Human Resource and Corporate Learning departments “experiment” in their own departments about innovative ways to leverage social media at work while maintaining security standards?
[tags]CEO, talent management, social media, Sun Microsystems, HDTV, Human Resources[/tags]
Thanks for getting this conversation started Jeanne. Perhaps the biggest problem in Corporate or any organizational blogging is developing a clear ROI.
For an organization to invest time and resources there has to be a path to activities that actually drive the business. Fortunately for blogging, there are two gigantic and measurable benefits: SEO and Conversions.
As for CEO’s blogging….that’s wrong thinking. if the goal is SEO and Conversion you need a lot of content from many different voices. That means employees blogging. We call it Bottom-up blogging vs. Top-down. With a lot of bloggers you get a wide variety of content that ranks well on a wide variety of keyword phrases.
Conversion also is higher because there is a lot more credibility from employees than C-level’s. Here is a quote from my blog post this morning:
“It’s clear that when it comes to traditional authority figures – whether they’re chief executives or heads of state – people trust them less,” says Mr. Edelman. “Employees are the new credible source of information. We have data that shows an employee blog is five times more credible than a CEO blog – and I say this as a CEO blogger.”
Here is the blog: http://blogging.compendiumblog.com/blog/blogs-in-business/0/0/people-dont-trust-ceos-they-trust-employees
I am struggling with the use of blogs as personal promotion tools (not many people have something interesting to say/write on a regular basis but anybody can start a blog) but I can see potential as an effective tool for senior leaders to share insights with their orgainzation. However, if there is something worth communicating I have a doifficult time breaking from the notion that the communication vehicle should be more push than pull, such as a direct email, webcast, etc.
Interesting post Jeanne. We started our company blog last year and allow all of our staff access to post articles, advice and suggestions, or thoughts.
Our CEO is very active in our blog and will typically post at least once a day. His posts are a great source of information for all who read, but I have found they are also good for training and mentoring our junior-level staff through the lessons learned and suggestions he makes.
I think all C-level executives should be active in online communications. Let’s face it, the internet is not going anywhere. Individuals who rise to the top of an organization have a lot to say and can teach all of us a lot about business, communication, and lessons learned. Where else can you become a subject expert while marketing yourself and your firm?
Excellent and timely post Jeanne! Blogging has tremendous potential as a corporate communications tool for CEO’s, HR Departments and all business units.
A moderated and well-maintained corporate blog might not only compliment, the suggestion box, ethics hotline or employee newsletter; in some cases it could replace them entirely.