Should CEOs Blog?

31 July 2007

Man_typing_2I was asked recently to comment on the topic of CEOs having blogs and the implications on disclosure and investor relations.  In short, I think blogging is a great way for the head of a company to communicate with a variety of key stakeholders (customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders), as long as the CEO is smart from a disclosure perspective. Those CEOs who do blog likely go through an extensive legal review before posts are made public (or at least I hope they go through a legal review).

A more important question is – should any/all CEOs blog?  My quick answer to that is NO!

Jonathan Schwartz, CEO at Sun Microsystems, is probably the most popular and high profile CEO with a blog.  He writes well, he posts fairly often, and he “gets it”.  However, not every CEO is like Jonathan Schwartz.

In my view, many CEOs would have two key factors working against them when thinking of firing up a blog. 1) They are often too busy to regularly contribute to a blog.  2) Not all CEOs are good writers.  In some cases, they may even be poor writers….there’s a reason why a lot of CEOs don’t write their own speeches, presentations, etc. 

Point number 2 is critical when thinking of investor relations.  Investors and analysts have high expectations of CEOs.  They watch a CEOs every move, in some cases literally.  A mediocre blog from a CEO can certainly do more harm than good from an IR standpoint.

So, in the end, not only does fair and timely disclosure need to be considered when a CEO decides to blog but good, insightful, and well written content is paramount….after all, it’s guaranteed that financial analysts will scrutinize every word.

One Response to “Should CEOs Blog?”

  1. marnie webb

    I’m not sure that you have to be a good writer to be a good blogger. I think what’s more critical is to be a good observer and have an ability to point to detail.

    The time thing though? Critical either way.

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