I had lunch the other day with 3 friends, and before I knew it we were talking about blogging. The others had all heard about this new phenomenon. Everyone wanted to know if I thought there was anything to it. And, if so, should they be blogging? Now I do not think blogging in business is a fad but a whole new way of communicating. But as much as I am a blogging enthusiast, I also feel that the decision on whether to blog, should be predicated on the objective. In other words, the person should consider blogging only if it enables him or her to do something that they could best do via a blog.
Blogging for Business
I do not believe everyone should blog, especially every CEO. First, it requires a great deal of time and commitment, commitment that might be better spent addressing some more important concern. Second, it requires some comfort with writing and not everyone will have that ease. And third, it means you will be making in yourself more accessible to customers, vendors, business partners, and even competitors.
Whether You Should Blog?
Whether that is a good thing depends on you and your business objective. But for many CEOs, blogging can be a very effective business communications tool. Blogging is a great way to put the head of the company in the driver's seat when leading his organization toward a specific objective, and in establishing a more personal relationship between the company and its many publics.
Not A Traditional PR Tool
However, blogging should never be used as just another PR tool. To do so would be to totally miss the fundamental nature of this new social media. In order to be effective, the blogger must speak in his or her own authentic voice, not in PR-speak, and express their own point-of-view. In fact, blogging for business is only effective when it supports a business objective.
This might include: engaging the customer community around some new technology, product or service to elicit their feedback and ideas, loyalty and understanding. Or it might be a way to improve a company's standing by building on the star-power of its CEO. Blogs are a great way to establish thought and market leadership, sell a view point or reach out to customers who share an interest in what you are doing. And blogs are very effective tools for search engine optimization, in helping you or your company be found.
Who Should Blog
No, not every CEO should blog. But for those with a strong business objective, a high-level of comfort in communicating their ideas, and a desire to put themselves on the front-lines of the dialogue with their most savvy constituencies, it is an unbeatable tool.