Only two out of ten senior business executives actually write their own blog posts, according to an international poll of 750 executive bloggers that was published by Times of London journalist-turned-flack David Davis. I say ghost-written blogs are dishonest. Blogs are for people who have something to say and who know how to say it.
Bloggers have to walk the walk…
The bloggers in any company should be the people who
– want to blog,
– can make the time,
– are extremely knowledgeable about their subject matter,
– and can consistently make the content worth reading.
That doesn’t have to be the CEO, or the COO, or even a VP. It does have to be someone willing to write in his or her own voice, who will make a commitment to posting on a regular basis. That doesn’t have to be 10 times a day. But if you say you will post three times a week, that’s when you should post.
Ghost-written blogs are a sham
Of the 83% of respondents who said they “have advice” on writing their blogs, 48% said blogging is too time consuming and 39% said they have difficulty expressing themselves in writing. Yes, blogging is time-consuming. Next question?
Hiring someone to blog for the company is perfectly acceptable — as long as you let people know the name and credentials of the writer. There’s also no reason that only one person has to be the writer of a company blog. CEOs or other executives should contribute to a company blog when they have something to say. (Save the PR crap for the annual report.)
Ain’t nothing wrong with editing
Most of the 17% who said they wrote their own blogs said they first asked for advice from HR and communications colleagues. Nothing wrong with asking for advice: every writer can use another set of eyes. Editing is perfectly fine too, as long as it’s done to improve the writing and not just to let the lawyers and the flaks vet the copy.
The long road to transparency
Asked to describe a ‘ghost written’ company blog, 43% said it was “marginally misleading” and 44% found it “acceptable.” The other 13% found ghost written blogs either “a sham” or “totally misleading.” I’m with them.
Davis’ email poll involved interviews with 750 senior exec who publish company blogs in the United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, and Australia. The respondents, 65% males and 35% females, work in a wide range of industries and financial institutions.
Related What’s Next Blog posts here and here.
via Mike Driehorst