Executive Ghost (Writer) Bloggers

01/04/2006

GhostwriterB.L.Ochman points us to a new piece of blog research. This one is about senior executives who..supposedly.. author blogs. I say supposedly because the findings indicate out of 750 respondents only 17% actually write their own blogs. That's 667 non blogging bloggers.

Sidebar
: I didn't know there were so many senior execs who were blogging! I'd love to see the list of companies and more so the qualifying questions of what determined a "senior executive."

These non blogging bloggers must be feeling a wee bit of blogger guilt because when asked, "How do you describe a ghost written company blog" 428, or 57% of the executive non blogging bloggers, participating in the study, thought that "ghost written blogs" were not so terrific.

  • 8% said it was "a sham"
  • 5% agreed it was "totally misleading"
  • a whopping 44% said it was "marginally misleading"

Some people might say what's the big deal? Ghost writers draft executives speeches all the time. Why not ghost writers for blogs? For this diva, blogs are personal writings, even if the topic is business, the heart and soul of the author comes comes through. (Sure a talented copywriter can capture a personality. Let's agree not to go there.) It just does not seem quite right to ghost write blogs. Dias and divos, if you don't want to write your own blog ..don't. I promise not to think less of you. Have someone else in your company blog.

Another interesting finding was that 39% of the executives said the reason they were not writing their own blogs was due to  "difficulty expressing themselves in writing." I personally find that rather sad, and at the same time frightening, that almost 40% of this sample acknowledged they were lacking a basic business skill - written communication. How the &6%! were they promoted into senior management positions? Is this a clue why so many of our corporations are in trouble? Might be wise not to buy stock in any of those firms.

The survey was conducted by David Davis, writer4business.

More Blog Research: Lisa Calhoun, Write2Market, is conducting a survey - The Business Case On Blogging. If you have a few seconds add your comments.

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Tracked on Jan 6, 2006 10:04:56 AM

Comments

I shudder to think of the idea of somebody else writing my thoughts for me.Then again, I am a writer, so it works out well for me. I think I understand how it works for these execs. Hey, it's why we PR folks get paid- that is what my clients pay me to do; express themselves for them.

I do agree that it is "dishonest", but I don't know how far my outrage goes.

Posted by: Tim Jackson on Jan 5, 2006 12:21:10 AM

I'd like to know what customers/prospects think of blogs written by ghost writers. Does it matter to them if someone else is authoring a post signed by a specific person?

To carry it one step beyond, does it erode the credibility of the brand to find out that after months of believing that you're reading the personal thoughts and opinions of an executive to learn that you were reading another person's "copy."

Posted by: Toby on Jan 5, 2006 9:45:15 AM

I'm shocked I tell you, Shocked! Donald Trump doesn't write his own blog? (I'm assuming.) But, yes it is sad that CEOs often lack basic business skills. I've worked with senior execs I don't think could read much less write. All that said, I can see people getting pros to help them get started - but then they should do their own blogs. The power of the blog is the personal interaction - and that means it's okay (or should be) to not be perfect. And blogs shouldn't be the same ol' same ol' marketing speak. and "CEO bla-blah."

Posted by: Mary Schmidt on Jan 5, 2006 11:13:37 AM

Hi there, Toby. Once again, a great piece!

The whole point of "corporate blogs" is to communicate with consumers through a more personal venue. However, I suppose it was only a matter of time that once senior managers finally realized the power of the corporate blog, it was turned over to the marketing department and treated as another mouthpiece for external stakeholders.

While it is true that corporate blogs can play a tremendous role in shaping consumer or client perceptions, I believe that it is socially irresponsible for firms to approach it in this manner (ghost blogging).

Cheers.
Scott

Posted by: Scott Burkett on Jan 5, 2006 2:04:51 PM

You don't get promoted to be a leader because you write well.

You get promoted to be a leader, because you did the best presentations, are respected by the people who work for you and get things done.

Well, so far in theory. But _writing_ will not get you far compared to other things in business - unless you are a writer. :)

Posted by: Nicole Simon on Jan 6, 2006 5:29:16 PM

I am not surprised by the findings. In fact I am here at your blog because I just searched this term "blog with ghost writer" and yours came out in page 1. :) Excellent!

There certainly is a demand for such leverage.

Posted by: Jackie on Jan 15, 2007 2:02:41 AM

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