According to an article in today’s Financial Times, which quotes Jonathan Schwartz and Scott McNealy on the benefits of blogs, here are the main reasons executives should blog:
- Leaders can communicate directly with customers, suppliers and investors, as well as employees, helping disseminate and explain strategy.
- Blogs give the writer an opportunity to answer critics in a controlled forum.
- Compared with conference or printed memos to all staff, blogs are highly cost effective.
- A well written blog can give a human face to an otherwise anonymous corporation.
And the dangers of blogging…
- The best non-corporate blogs are spontaneous and genuine. Poorly written corporate blogs can look fake — or perhaps worse, they reveal incompetence on he part of the writer.
- It is difficult for executives to write freely, particularly at listed companies where they are legally required to publish significant information to all investors at the same time.
- There is a risk that an ill-judged comment could be seized upon by the media or disgruntled investors.
I disagree with the last one. Using blogs for corporate communications is great way to refute ill-judged claims by critics.