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Seth Godin on CEO Blogs

Sethgodinebookcover Seth Godin has this to say about CEO blogs:
"Beware... It's apparently the newest thing. I just got off the phone with one CEO who's itching to start, and read an email from another who just did.

Here's the problem. Blogs work when they are based on:
Pithiness and

(maybe Utility if you want six).

Does this sound like a CEO to you?

Short and sweet, folks: If you can't be at least four of the five things listed above, please don't bother. People have a choice (4.5 million choices, in fact) and nobody is going to read your blog, link to your blog or quote your blog unless there's something in it for them.

Save the fluff for the annual report."

Here's my take on it: yes, CEOs can write a blog. But it's a learned writing style. Let's put it this way. What CEO is not already writing candid, urgent, timely, pithy, (possibly) controversial, useful personal emails every day... to friends, colleagues, etc. A Weblog is no different. It's just that the writing is for public consumption. And you get a whole lot more mileage out of it. Rather than having your pithy observations sink to the bottom of a colleague's email inbox, they'll be published, public... and attracting search engines. I still believe in brand. And who better to embody a company's brand than a smart, plugged-in CEO who can articulate what issues are important and why. Note: I did NOT say who can plug his or her company's products or services. No siree. That's not how a good blog is written and certainly not why an effective blog develops a loyal readership. It's well-articulated, smart thinking that draws followers and makes yours into a thought leadership blog. Seth, thanks for raising the bar, per usual. Yup, CEO blogs are the newest thing. See Alan Meckler, Brian Carroll and Matt Blumberg as examples.


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Posted by Debbie Weil on November 18, 2004 in Writing Tips | Permalink


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Cathy Chatfield-Taylor

Can a CEO blog be ghostwritten by a communication strategist tasked with raising the CEO's industry profile? I think not, but I wouldn't be surprised to see someone try.

It would be a challenge indeed to capture a CEO's candor, wit and intellect on a daily basis. And for the CEO, to stay abreast of posts and comments. (Recall the celebrity author who hadn't read her own memoir?)

Thought leadership can't be faked!

Debbie Weil


People ask me this all the time. I think the answer is no. So maybe a CEO blog isn't for *every* CEO. If a CEO is too lazy - or feels truly hampered by company culture and rules (which of course he/she should be free to change) - it would be hard to write one.


Brian Carroll


Thanks for the props : )


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