Whenever the topic of social media is discussed at a conference (and the IPRA Summit was no exception), the inevitable question arises: Should CEOs blog?
I am coming to the conclusion that if a senior executive is unable to answer six questions with a strong "yes", then perhaps corporate blogging should be left to others:
- Are you willing to commit to conversation rather than officious declaration; dialogue rather than monologue?
- Are you ready to explore and interpret in public your organization's business strategy in light of current events, and through the prism of daily political, social and economic issues?
- Can you write in a personal and distinct voice without the aid of a ghostwriter?
- Do you have the time to devote to enthusiastic consideration of interesting ideas?
- Are you not afraid to chance making forward-looking statements that could get you in trouble with regulators (assuming you are in a public company)?
- Are you willing to post without having corporate counsel review your copy?
There may be other questions, but these seem to get to the heart of the reservations most senior executives face when thinking about blogging as a means of joining online conversations as representatives of their organizations.
Now personal blogging on the other hand doesn't suffer from these constraints and should be tried if only just to learn more about what drives discussion, disagreement and idea-based relationships online, and how to maneuver effectively through them.