Back to my pet peeve – CEOs who blog full-time; not that there’s anything wrong with that. I just believe there’s an enormous investment of time that goes into running a well maintained blog could rather be put to better use use in other areas of a CEO running a company successfully.
When should a CEO blog?
However, I also take every opportunity to recommend that CEOs must blog ever so often (whenever time permits) on their company’s corporate blog. This allows them to have an active voice out there and respond to questions whenever possible. One of my fondest memories of corporate blogging at LinkedIn was when our CEO Dan, responded to user questions on the NYT blog.
Another example of when a CEO could have blogged was Jeff Immelt’s (CEO of GE) reaction when GE missed its first quarter earnings target and he seemed to have been criticized by his illustrious predecessor – Jack Welch. Instead of disappearing from the media, Jeff granted an interview to the WSJ, where he seemed truly contrite and dissappointed with the results! Reminds me of Zuckerberg’s blog post where he apologized for Beacon – Facebook’s controversial ad targeting system. That’s the old-school vs. new school way of doing things.
So Immelt was accessible and he was human. Think of all the other CEOs who have been forced out in the past year or two—Hank McKinnell at Pfizer, Bob Nardelli at Home Depot and more. Those CEOs also were under fire for poor stock price performance, but they didn’t come out and address the criticism being directed against them. They’re gone from those positions. Jeff Immelt is still in his. I say, communications savvy was the key difference. (Source: Harvard Publishing)
It’s moments like these that a corporate blog can be used to let your CEO shine. It’ll be a tough call as to whether you should allow that but as Jeff Immelt’s media savviness proved – it’s definitely worth it!