Blogging with the Boss: Tips for Perfecting Your CEO’s Blog

September 25, 2012

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Leadership blogs offer CEOs the chance to connect with their employees in a frequent and relatively informal way. But, some might question the value in starting and maintaining a blog. The answer: a boost in engagement – for employees and for your CEO.

Internal communication is more likely to be successful when senior leaders listen and respond to employee issues. In fact, research shows that employees' perceptions of their organizations are only marginally influenced (about 15 percent) by formal communications – think intranets, brochures, newsletters and canned videos. Employees are most heavily influenced by what leaders say and do (55 percent).

A CEO blog (whether penned by the CEO, someone on the communications team or a combination of both) can be an excellent vehicle for communicating and engaging with employees. Blogging – and social media in general – might not be the perfect fit for every CEO (check out this post for more on that topic), but for many leaders, blogs are an excellent opportunity to connect with employees on a personal level and encourage two-way dialogue.

Whether your company's head honcho is a blogging veteran or is just getting his or her feet wet, consider these tips to make sure your CEO's blog sizzles instead of fizzles.

  1.  Keep it straightforward. When it comes to leadership communications, a simple and direct style is best. That's especially true in blog format. Make posts easy, quick reads; employees will be more likely to read the full post if it's a manageable length. If a post seems particularly long, take a second look. Perhaps it can be divided into a series published over a span of a few weeks.
  2. Plan regular posts. Keep the blog fresh. Posting regularly will encourage employees to return often to check for new entries – and, perhaps more importantly, it establishes the blog's credibility and relevance. Frequent posts reinforce that the CEO finds both the blog (and its readers) valuable to the company's success.
  3. Be authentic. Let the leader's personality shine. Avoid jargon where possible and adopt a more casual, conversational style – if your CEO's blog sounds the way he or she talks, you're on the right track. Steer clear of too much “corporate messaging” – using sincere, thoughtful content drives home key points in a much more effective way. Feature anecdotes from the CEO's personal and professional experiences.
  4. Pull in perspective. Encourage others to guest blog. Whether it's another company leader, a front-line employee or an industry expert, a fresh perspective is a great way to supplement the blog's content. Added bonus: It's no secret that a CEO's schedule is jam-packed, so guest bloggers give him or her some relief from blogging responsibilities.
  5. Drive discussion. Think of the CEO's blog as a digital open forum. Ask questions, generate conversation and respond to comments. Remember, it can be intimidating for employees to comment on a leader's blog post. So, pose specific questions (“What are your ideas on how we as a company can be more sustainable?”) and recognize employees who do respond – perhaps by sending a follow-up email to address employees' comments or by acknowledging specific employees' good ideas at the CEO's next town hall.

We want to hear from you. If you have any tips for improving leadership blogs, leave a comment here.