One of the central questions to ask when developing a social media strategy is whether the CEO of your company should have a blog. In Klaus Kneale’s article “CEOs Say: how to Be An Executive Blogger” on Forbes.com, Kneale takes a look at the art of CEO blogging and what it takes to get blogging right. The sub heading of Kneale’s article, “The Blogosphere can be a Minefield for Unprepared CEOs”, strikes at the heart of whether your CEO should be blogging.
Kneale writes about Donato Montaro JR., chief executive officer of TradeKing, an online discount brokerage. Monato was an early adopter of blogging and has taken some steps to make sure he is getting his corporate blogging right. One of the steps he has taken was hiring a director of online content whose job is to ensure that “everything on the TradeKing Web site is clean, accurate and consistent with the company’s values. Including her boss’s online persona.”
But you’ve got to do it right or you shouldn’t be doing it at all. How do you do it right? It’s an open secret of corporate communications that many e-mails from CEOs aren’t actually written by CEOs. As social media take off in the corporate world, that’s not true only of e-mails. Blogs, too. Montanaro is ahead of the game in this. He has Jude Stewart draft blog posts for him (not all of them), based on meetings they have. Montanaro edits the drafts to make sure they sound like him and to add details Stewart didn’t have.
He’s careful about what he posts, too. His blog contains bits about spearfishing in the Bahamas, but it also is kept in line with the company’s marketing and customer service strategy and any legal regulations. CEOs always have to keep such things in mind when blogging.
If your CEO decides he is interested in starting a blog, there are other items he also needs to consider. Legal for one. The company needs to decide what role legal counsel will play. Will the CEO run all his posts through legal before publishing? Will the CEO coordinate with marketing and public relations about the message? How many hands will actually be involved? How will the company coordinate the publishing of each blog with its overall social media strategy? Will your CEO have an editorial calendar in place that can keep him on track?
Finally, Kneale writes that once everyone is on the same page –what becomes most crucial to the success of your CEOs blog are the headlines. “The best way to get your blog posts spreading to Facebook, Twitter, Digg and e-mail, and ultimately getting read, is by having good headlines.”
Is your CEO blogging?