WEEKLY #2: To Blog or Not to Blog?

 

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?…
(William Shakespeare)

If CEO wants to start a blog, do you have options other than saying that it is a great idea?

Indeed, realizing that it is a great idea would increase chances for success.  Understanding that blogging is similar to, let’s say butter, would help a lot.  Proper use of butter can make any dish you want to cook more delicious, just like demonstrated in one of my favorite movies “Julie and Julia.”  By the way, this also relates to Julie Powell and her success of her blog titled The Julie/Julia Project, which later became the plot for this movie.  When I saw the movie for the first time, I was thrilled how sincere it is.  Maybe even not food caused popularity for Julie Powell’s blog — most likely, popularity was caused by the sincerity and authenticity of the blogger.

Starting a blog for business is a challenge.  As it is stated in The Cluetrain Manifesto, companies are deeply afraid of their markets and that is why is have different things on their Intranet and Internet.  Fact sheets are written for customers, talking points are written for employees.  There is an invisible, but still sensible barrier between the sides and somehow blogs, by its own definition, make this barrier thinner, less official.

Three big “Yes” for CEO to launch the blog:

  • Blogs sound human: timely responses create the effect of the human voice, a real employee and strengthen psychological ties with the customer.
  • Blogs can be one of the strongest feedback tools in addressing complaints, listening to suggestions, monitoring and evaluating the reaction of the consumer about the product.
  • Blogs are one more additional channel to promote the companies ideas and products.  It is technically inexpensive, but effective due to its friendly usability.

Three big “Should be paid attention” points for CEO:

  • Blogs are responsibility for employees with good sense of self-judgment, otherwise a random statement under the post may harm the million-cost branding and marcom plans of the company. There is no place for censorship, there is a great need for honesty with wisdom, sincerity and authenticity.
  • Blogs are time-consuming and should be constantly updated with timely responses, otherwise it will become one of the corporate websites filled with uncertainty under the statement “We will get back to you soon at our earliest convenience.”
  • Blogs can be a great source for competitors and cause confidential leaks.

P.S. According to Edelman Trust Barometer, throughout most of the Western world, NGOs remain the most trusted institution and cross all regions, trust in this institution has increased over time comparing with the other institutions such as government and media.

Back in 2003, I joined one of the American NGOs working in developing countries.  At the beginning of the project on creating sustainable communities, the target group, people, were not as optimistic about our long-term sustainability plans.  Within the next several months, we trained people how to implement low-scale infrastructure projects starting from proposal writing.  Later, when I attended numerous opening ceremonies on bringing gas or electricity to these remote villages neighboring with Afghanistan, I was amazed to see enormous trust and hope in people’s eyes.  I am sure that people were convinced by the fact that sincerity and authenticity usually expressed on the websites and boring brochures of the organizations are not destined to remain online and on the papers only, but put into real life too.

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