Many Australian companies are missing out on an insanely brilliant opportunity to connect with customers and other stakeholders.
And while the ball has potentially been dropped by the PR or marketing departments, the blame should be sheeted home to the CEO.
I’m talking about establishing and nurturing a content-rich blog (as part of a well-considered content marketing strategy – but it’s the blogging that I want to focus on).
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If you’re a CEO and your organisation has not got a blog (or at least a ‘socialised’ online newsroom): why on earth not?
As the leader of an organisation with multiple stakeholders, you could be using a blog as an interactive platform to drive discussion around important issues, establish industry thought-leadership, educate customers and help provide solutions to their problems (relevant to your business). This is before the potential benefits of increased SEO are taken into account.
Now, before I drop too much of the blame at the feet of PR and marketing people, I’ve met many clever and passionate people in those departments who were keen to pursue a blog for their organisation only to have the initiative stymied either by the ‘C suite’, legal or IT departments (or combination thereof).
When I say ‘blog’, essentially I’m talking about an online platform that can be leveraged by a company to spread ideas, generate conversation and build rapport with relevant and interested audiences.
A blog isn’t necessarily just text, either. It can just as easily house video content, audio (podcasts), photos, charts and infographics etc. Think of it as your own media channel – your company’s ‘digital heart’.
It’s important, however, that you don’t use the company blog for corporate chest-beating (I suppose you can, but only the board will read it and get excited. No one else will – not even your employees).
It’s not for jargon-filled press releases or blatant product plugs. Instead, a blog should inspire, educate, inform and/or entertain its readers. Unlike most company websites, it should give people a reason to come back time and time again.
Passion to connect
Back to the CEO for a minute. Does the CEO need his or her own blog? No, not necessarily. It depends on whether they’ve got anything to say – a point of view – or a passion to connect with their constituents. And they need to be willing to update it at least eight times per month (and the content needs to come from them – it can’t simply be ghostwritten by the company’s PR person).
I think it’s more important for the company to have a vibrant blog the CEO can regularly contribute to, along with other experts within the organisation, rather than having a CEO-only blog that rarely gets updated.
And, critically, if they don’t contribute to the blog, at the very least the CEO needs to give it their full support – otherwise the project may never properly get off the ground.