Monday, 18 December 2006

The Thing I love About Ted Rogers Even Though I Don't Think He Should Start A Blog

I read a question on a blog that I thought was interesting. The question was posed "Is it ok to ghostwrite a ceo blog."

My 2 cents? As a ceo you have to have integrity. In this day and age of transparency and authenticity, people want to know that the individuals behind the companies they buy from and essentially support, deserve their business.

Does this mean that ceo's should blog? How about Ted Rogers, founder of Rogers Communications for example?

One thing I have always loved about Ted is that he always seemed to me to be someone who was actively involved in his company. I mean on some level you gotta respect a guy who goes to the trouble of actually reading all the ads his company produces and actually circles the ones he thinks are bad and pins them up in Sr. Executive's offices. But could I see Ted blogging? I think that would be a PR nightmare (I'm just guessing).

And what if the ceo can't write?

Personlly, I think if they can't write, they shouldn't. But similarly, they certainly shouldn't get someone else to write it for them. It defeats the entire purpose of it as a way to get to know the ceo personally and ends up being yet another communications vehicle in the most traditional sense of media.

So what is a ceo to do?

I believe that if the ceo (or his/her management team more likely) thinks it's important to blog for business, then they should just get the head of communications to write the blog and disclose that. The ceo could be a guest commenter from time to time so people know they are out there but whatever they do, they shouldn't pretend.

It won't be long however, until things like blogging just becomes part of the job if it isn't already. As brands get closer to customers, and customers to brands, being able to get to know the chief executive officer will become mandatory. And those officers are going to have to expose themselves like never before. Soon there will be no where to hide.

Maybe instead of doing executive MBAs, what ceo's should really be doing is taking writing courses? Just a thought....


Mark said...

Having been exposed to more "communications" people than I can shake a talking point at, I would say that the LAST person you would want to write a blog on behalf of a company is the head of communications. Authentic voice is the name of the corporate blogging game. In my experience, ask a "communications" person if they want to go for a coffee and they'll start selling you the features and benefits of Second Cup over Starbucks (or vice versa) and ask your your buy-in on the going forward caffination strategy.


If not the CEO, then the COO, or the head of R&D, or, how about allowing real employees to blog. And if they have something not so flattering to say about the company, treat it as Distant Early Warning - sort of a real time, continuous satisfaction survey - rather than an act of sabotage. Every company has its critics; good companies have far more fans than detractors. A good corporate blogger deals with the criticisms head-on and effects change as needed, rather than engaging in objection-handling.

Jonathan Schwarz from Sun is a perfect example, if any would-be corporate bloggers would like a role model.

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