Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Blogging CEOs

Our research on CEOs and blogs received alot of attention. It seems to have struck a chord. The survey -- the2005 PRWeek/Burson-Marsteller CEO Survey (www.prweek.com) -- revealed that while blogs are increasingly making headlines, only seven percent of CEOs are blogging and many are skeptical about starting a blog themselves. Despite the low numbers, 59 percent of CEOs said blogs are useful for internal communications, and 47 percent said blogs are effective for external audiences.

The Good about Blogs
CEOs recognize the benefits of blogs, including the ability to quickly communicate new ideas and news (41 percent), providing a more informal venue for communication with constituents (40 percent), and obtaining immediate feedback (36 percent). Despite these benefits, only 18 percent of CEOs plan to host a company blog over the next two years.

The Bad about Blogs
Even more interesting to me was why CEOs might not favor blogs. Half (50 percent) said that they would not have the time and somewhat more than one-third indicated that CEO blogs might not be appropriate enterprise-wide (37 percent) or there may be too many legal restrictions (35 percent).

All of the reasons for and against CEO blogging are quite legitimate. The interesting news was that CEOs seemed aware of this means of communication. Only eight percent knew nothing at all about blogs.

A Good Idea for New CEOs
For new CEOs, internal blogs make sense. New CEO blogs can quickly capture what is on employees' minds in the early months. Since many new CEOs can not visit every site or facility, an internal blog opens up the channels to the top. An internal CEO blog would positively give the impression of the new CEO's desire to listen and engage. Nothing wrong with that.

I hope to continue exploring the CEO blogging phenomenon.



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