Question: Who should be the main author of a corporate blog? Should it always be the MD or CEO?
The Blog Coach’s Reply: Firstly, it’s important to stress that, even in corporate blogs, whoever does the writing, it needs to retain a personal tone and not drift towards corporate “marketing speak”. This personal aspect is one of the key business benefits that blogs offer. A personal writing style helps companies to put a human perspective on an often austere external corporate image and differentiate themselves by doing so. This is particularly effective for Professional Services companies where a key selling point has to be the people (as well as their expertise) carrying out the work a corporate site can state their qualifications but, unlike a blog, cannot give an insight as to who the people really are.
Should only CEOs blog?
As for whether CEOs should always blog no, not at all. I would certainly not recommend that all CEOs consider blogging themselves and nor should it generally be the CEO who blogs on a corporate blog. It’s important to remember that corporate blogs do not have a single purpose or format – rather it’s an umbrella term for many different types. For instance, a blog intended to help provide better customer service will be different to one aimed at helping to develop a brand and both will be different to a product focused blog.
The so called “CEO Blog” is a different type again, I believe. As you would expect, an MD or CEO is going to write about the company in a very different way to someone in the Customer Services department because they have a different perspective on the issues and the industry. It is that perspective which is of interest to readers. A CEO is more likely to do a weekly State of the Nation type of post which looks at the industry, the company and factors affecting it from a helicopter perspective. Good examples are Jonathan Schwartz (CEO of Sun Microsystems) or Richard Edelman (Edelman PR).
However, a product focused blog or a detailed information blog are more likely to be written by people specialist in those areas. In that way, the knowledge and the enthusiasm that they have for the subject they are writing about can really shine through.
How to identify a potential company blogger
In deciding who should blog, I would probably suggest that you consider someone who :
- has a passion for what they are writing about
- ideally enjoys writing (also it helps if they are good at it)
- has expertise in the area (and ideally a good general knowledge base)
- is a good listener and is open to feedback (including criticism)
- is familiar with blogs and how to present yourself in them
As you go through the planning process for your blog and identify what your goals are for it and who it is targeted at, you will find that there will be some ideal candidates who will be most appropriate to take on the role. You might also consider an internal blog as a good place to identify those people with a natural affinity for the medium.
Tags: Blog Consultant, Business Blogging, CEO Blogs, Corporate Blogging, MD Blogs, Writing a Corporate Blog