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Comments

Brian Brown

It would be ABSURD for a CEO blog to be ghostwritten. This would be considered a "character blog", one in which the writer assumes the character of someone else.

As soon as the public finds out the blog is not actually writen by the CEO, they will lynch them in the blogoshpere. What CEO wants that?

Why does a company blog need to be written by the CEO anyway? They should just hire the writer outright and have them write the blog under their real name. Blogging is about transparency, and when a company isn't honest in their blogging efforts, it always backfires.

Brian

I guess I'm half of what you are looking for. I work in a corporate environment. I do blog, but not for or about work.

Personally, I'd much rather see the CEO write their own blog. I get that they are busy and don't expect pages and pages everyday. To me, the best thing about the blog is its personal and unvarnished nature.

Any organization is already full of communication that has been measured and crafted by underlings. The last thing we need is a blog thrown into that mix.

That said, I'm ok with the "in-synch ghostwriter" approach. I read several corporate exec blogs and to be honest, I couldn't tell you if they were ghost-written or not because they do such a good job of giving a reader the sense that it is the exec who is sharing.

Beware the disconnect. A non-blogging incident illustrates the danger in this approach: Two weeks ago Ohio State football coach Jim Tressell announced that he had voted Texas, the Buckeyes upcoming opponent, #1 in that week's coaches poll. Unfortunately, we soon found out that Ohio State had been voted #1 on Tressell's balllot. Easy mistake for him to make since his Media Coordinator and not he, the coach, had been filling out Tressell's ballots. It wasn't the end of the world, but this kind of credibility gaffe can undo many of the benefits that might come from the CEO's blog.

As for the time factor, there are plenty of tools to help make things easier for the CEO. Heck, let him podcast via cell phone during his ride home.

Great subject!

Kip Meacham

It seems to me an overlooked aspect of this is the nature of the business the company is engaging in.

If the core business will derive some business benefit from the dialogue, then the CEO's hand's-on efforts would likely yield fruit. This is also, IMHO, where ghostwriting creates the exposure for the corporation. It can seem too crafted, too artificial, too scripted.

I'd be interested in your thoughts and research on this intersect of the nature of the business and the decision to blog corporately.

Kip

Michael Stelzner

As a writer, I am not sure I would want to job of writing the blog for the CEO! I am thinking he/she would pick my work apart in a never ending slice and dice fashion that would result in me going elsewhere. Then a new writer-—with a different voice-—would need to take over. - Mike

Richard Brunton

There has to be a balance of time and effect weighed up. For a start why is the CEO (or anyone in a business) wanting to blog, if it is purely for marketing and exposure then someone else writing would be fine, after all the executive has other things to do that actually deal with day to day working issues. I could accept that as a writer, employee and reader.

However I think there should be rules between the writer and executive about how they transfer the exec's knowledge, understanding and thoughts to the writer and onto the site.

If the site is more about the person or the job they are trying to do in the role then I think it becomes much harder for someone else to write for them, however much time they spend together and however much information is passed on. It's a much more personal and passionate area then.

For example in my organisation, if anyone other than employees in their personal time ever gets the guts to begin blogging, then I can see the following scenario.

An internal employee only blog and an external customer facing blog.

A ghost writer for the external facing blog taking content from the internal blog written personally and passionately by the actual executive.

Mike Abundo

A ghostwritten CEO is a liar. It's that simple.

Paul Dube

I am not a professional writer but I do blog.

Unfortunately, there are still a number of CxOs that have difficulty managing email. So, I'll split the difference and say that it is ok as long as the content accurately reflects the person's ideas, knowledge, and style.

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