Sometimes I sit in awe at the amount of change that’s transpired over the last 10 to 15 years. Then after I’m done sitting, I stand in awe… then walk in awe, get something to eat in awe, maybe sit with a good book in… well, you get the picture.
Connecting with people has never been easier. Even better, we can express our ideas and make them available for a global audience, get feedback, and begin a conversation to a level that was not possible even at the end of the 20th Century.
Yet despite the obvious power of the web and electronic social connectivity, as communicators many of us still face the challenge of the executive who’s resistant to blogging. A blind man could see the benefits of engaging his/her external or internal audience. Yet some of them just don’t get it.
If you’re faced with one of these leaders, here are some tips that might get them to come around.
Determine Which Executives Are Most Likely To Blog
There are no cookie-cutter executives. Like the rest of us, they all have different personalities, work styles, quirks, etc. When it comes to blogging for employees or customers, there are still those who don’t see the value, or they feel they’re too busy to make it a priority (after all, that’s why you’re there Mr. or Ms. Corporate Communicator). On the flip side, there are those who are totally on board. So assess your leadership team and make a list of which ones are most and least likely to blog. Then approach the ones who will and hope that the others will one day come to their senses.
Do Some Research and Make a Case
When you’re ready to approach your executive about blogging, provide information about the benefits of this kind of communication. Blogging has been around now for about 20 years. Some corporate leaders have soared into the blogosphere and reaped great engagement. The history and evidential advantages are on your side.
Search for articles. Ragan.com has written about the corporate blog countless times. If there’s one resource to check out rather than searching a dozen sites via Google, Ragan is the communicator’s Mecca, and they have a wealth of content on the subject.
Present Yourself as a Ghostwriter
If you have a leader who enjoys writing and is ready to dive in head first, you’re living on Corporate Blogging Easy Street (it’s a place… look it up on Google Maps). But many execs don’t necessarily enjoy the art of the scribe, or are just too busy.
Your goal is to make your executive more personable and affable to the employee or customer population. So your concern should be content, not who writes it. If your leader in question is blog averse, make it easy for them. Make yourself available as a ghostwriter. Let them know their role is simply to provide a topic and/or a few bullet points on which you can expand. Those who understand that they should blog will feel a weight lifted if that responsibility is on someone else.
Write A Sample Blog
Yes. This will take time, and if you’re pitching to a tough customer, there’s still no guarantee they will come on board the blog ship. But if you can show them the tangible product, and the benefit of a problem you’re solving, the more apt they are to trust you and buy in.
Momentum is Your Friend
Once your exec has bought in and the blog is up and running, let that baby ride! Keep churning out regular content. If the blog is self-written, be sure to send regular reminders to your executive. If you’re ghostwriting, your content should be sent consistently for approval. The enemy of a blog is complacency, so keep up the energy.
So there’s my humble perspective on the topic of executive participation in your company blog… how about you? What are some of your experiences, and what has worked for you to get your leaders’ buy-in and commitment?