What's Behind the CEO Blog Curtain?

03/20/2006

Oz_wizard Conversations about CEO/C-level bloggers are in the air. Maybe it's a tipping thing. I've been chatting with a few execs who are considering launching corporate/CEO blogs. Blog buddies Shel Israel over at Naked Conversations is having an interesting run on the topic as is Jane Genova, Jeremy Owyang ,who is helping the execs at Hitachi blog, and more.
Sidebar: Malcom Gladwell is blogging

For many people, Bob Lutz  - the Chair of GM - is one of poster boys of c-level corporate blogging. He talks openly and passionately about his product...cars. He even podcasts.

However, more and more I'm hearing whispers of ... "Do you think Bob** (in the blogpshere we are on first name terms with the "big guys") really writes his own blog? I hear it's his 'blog team' at Hass MS&L." They must be doing something to have won the PR Innovation of the Year 2006 Award for GM FastLane Blog. From a marketing and bloggy perspective, it would be interesting to know what Hass MS&L is doing behind the scenes.
**Insert any CEO/C-level blogger.

Debbie Weil teases us with an expert from her soon to be published book, Corporate Blogging, posting an interview with Bob. It seems he does pen his own posts.

So divas and divos, what is behind the Wizard of Oz curtain with CEO blogs? Is the it the responsibility of the blog team to review comments and pass them along? Is it the blog team who identifies influential bloggers and drops a comment or two in the name of the "boss." Is it the blog team who develops the blogger relationships? Is it the blog team who suggests content topics. Will we soon have a new job title: CEO Blog Team Director?
Sidebar: Yes, Dorothy and Toto you too have a blog.

Curious about what those c-level bloggers write about? NewPR Wiki has a list of CEO / C-level bloggers.

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Comments

Toby,

I don't think there is any one answer to the questions you pose in the closing of your post. I would venture to guess that some blogs are an outright marketing tool that simply has the approval and signature of the CEO it is attributed to. Then there are others that use the Marketing/PR team as a filter, as you put it. Then there are others that are the sole property of the CEO in question. And there may even be those that are all three rolled into one.

That is the beauty and the trap of blogs; it is hard to tell how genuine the author (or authors) really is and if the author is who is claimed to be doing the writing.

No doubt there are CEOs who rely heavily on support from the folks in the Marketing office, but I am sure some of these intelligent and articulate company heads can string together a few thoughts on there own without any significant help.

Bottom line; we are going to see an explosion of real and fake CEO blogs in the coming months and years. It will be up to the readers to decide if they like them or not, whether they are really the words and thoughts of the CEO or not.

If you like the message, does it really matter who is penning it?

Posted by: Tim Jackson- Masiguy on Mar 21, 2006 12:47:22 AM

Toby,

Thanks for this great article, we will most probably see numerous PR written blogs. At HP, we have a policy that executives have to write their own blogs (it is part of our blogging policy) if they want to have a blog on the HP platform
Eric

http://h20325.www2.hp.com/blogs/kintz/

Posted by: Eric Kintz on Apr 10, 2006 7:27:25 PM

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