As you can imagine, the opinions on executive blogging range from “You must and you had better hurry!” to “Executive bloggers haven’t thought through legal issues and may be in for nasty surprises.” You will need to decide for yourself whether you take the plunge as a blogger, but I thought I would share a few perspectives on the matter.
TechnologyProfessional.Org’s own Rajtilak Bhattacharjee is a successful blogger and opens the discussion with his endorsement for executive blogging. An excellent example of the sort of keep-it-real, full-throttle blog that Rajtilak recommends is Chris Lyman’s CEO/Janitor’s Blog. The CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh, has received a great deal of publicity for his company via The CEO and COO Blog. Neither of these companies is in the Fortune 100, but each demonstrates that successful CEOs can leverage a blog to create visibility for their company and, as Rajtilak suggests, reinforce a corporate culture of open communication.
Jeremia Owyang with Forrester Research walks through the other side of the issue with a thoughtful explanation of some of the pitfalls of executive blogging. John O’Connor wrote an article about blogging that appeared on The Ladders, a popular executive job search site. O’Connor presents a cautious note about blogging, advising people to understand of the potential effects of their words. He also cites some examples of the negative effects of blogging.
Should Executives Blog?
Maybe. Executives, especially technology executives, must have an online presence—it is expected. At the same time, some executives may be reluctant to write original articles because of a lack of confidence in their writing ability. Unfortunately, content that is not well planned may do more harm than good. Furthermore, if you do not enjoy writing, over time your content will be sparse and probably will not generate a great deal of attention. Great speeches you have heard, fantastic slogans, memorable logos, powerful letters to the editor—all the things that stand out in your mind as examples of great communication—were thoughtfully created.
Marketing experts will tell you that every element of a brand should be designed to work together and should be used consistently, and your personal brand, Brand You, is no different. If you are not going to blog thoughtfully then you should consider creating and expanding your online presence in another way. Even in the best scenario, blogging is only one element of a business executive’s online presence, so you should also think about other channels to build a professional reputation. For a nice summary of some options, view Jason Hiner’s video on Five Ways to Increase Your Professional Visibility.
Build Your Online Presence
What is the best way to get started building your online presence as you work through these issues? Partnering with an editor at TechnologyProfessional.Org enables you to create thoughtful, well-written content that will complement your personal brand. Contributing to a professional publication has the added value of a higher page rank than most individuals are likely to achieve. Whether you choose to blog or not, your online presence needs multiple channels and contributing to TechnologyProfessional.Org is an important channel.