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Should CEOs blog?

22 October 2007 4 Comments

Should CEOs or other senior executives blog? That is an open question. Certainly some do, and do effectively.

Executives who blog include Bob Lutz, Vice Chairman of General Motors, Jonathan Schwartz, President and CEO of Sun Microsystems, and Mark Cuban, owner of The Dallas Mavericks among other things.

Some of these blogs are easy to dismiss. Although Bob Lutz’s blog is great, GM is in such bad shape that perhaps this is a move of desperation? Companies in tough shape have little to lose by blogging or anything else. Sun Microsoft is a high tech company and lots of high tech companies blog – we can almost say there is a tradition here.  And Mark Cuban is, well, simply a maverick. Besides, as a billionaire entrepreneur, the rules are somewhat different. Oh yeah, he’s in high tech too.

How about Randy Baseler, who was the VP of Marketing for Boeing? He blogged at Randy’s Journal. Apparently it was such a success that Boeing chose another Randy, Randy Tinseth, as his replacement so the blog could carry on interrupted (was it Shakespeare, or maybe Jerry Garcia, that said something about “a Randy by any other name  . . . ?”). Or Bill Marriott of Marriot Hotels. Well, let’s just say CEO blogs, at least out of high tech, are few and far between.

So, should CEOs and other high-level executives blog? Quite frankly some are not great communicators — some make me cringe every time they open their mouths, few have “extra” time, and this whole blogging phenomenon is in its infancy.  And what about “ghost blogging?” Is it the sin most bloggers seem to insist?

We’ll cover these and other issues this week, and let’s just summarize for the moment with:
“Some CEOs and other high level executives can blog quite effective, and conversely, some certainly shouldn’t!”

4 Comments »

  • Anonymous said:

    Ted,
    Not every executive is a Lee Iacocca (who would make a great blogger!)…. But you don't have to be celebrity material to benefit from open communication with your public. Of course, for some CEO's, open communication means opening their mouths wide enough to put their feet in!
    Morty

  • Anonymous said:

    Morty,
    Well put — some CEOs are naturals, where as others should hide in their corner offices and not be seen or heard. There are a lot of benefits, as well as potential drawbacks, and we'll be hitting those this week.

  • Anonymous said:

    Ted,
    Thanks for riding herd on the blog this week. I'm hoping IAOC members won't be bashful about their thoughts on CEO bloggers.
    One thing that bothers me is the set up that a blog has to be a diary of some sort. It's a chronological message machine. It can be used in many ways, including monologue, dialogue, multilog, or Yule Log (if you print some of them — we're printing the IAOC's now).
    Seen this way, a CEO blog doesn't have to be a diary. It seems like there is room in the architecture for a variety of novel approaches.
    Thanks for guiding us this week, Ted.
    STEVE O'KEEFE

  • Anonymous said:

    Steve,
    Blogs are somewhat chronological by nature, but don't need to be entirely. or example you can pin a particular post to the top for awhile if you'd like.
    You could also have a blog layout that emphasized particularly important posts, instead of just the latest.
    We have a long way to go with blog design — there is a lot of room for creativity here.

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