A topic that pops up regularly as a cause for concern amongst fellow comms professionals, is the CEO blog. Informal comms from the senior management team are deemed, quite rightly, as an essential tool to improve employee engagement, but have a reputation for being quite tricky to get right.
The good news is it really doesn’t have to be that difficult. If we look at what makes a successful CEO blog, it leads us nicely to those that are published externally. They inspire through thought leadership and opinion, letting the reader in and giving them an understanding of the person behind the brand. And why should internal comms be any different? If you’re not expressing the human being behind the CEO title, it’s just another corporate message.
14 steps to great internal communications
What makes a good CEO blog?
Over time, analytics and feedback will give an indication on the topics your employees are interested in. The blog will develop its own style and tone of voice, and from that will start to encourage engagement and build a following.
Analytics may be slightly more complex with a CEO blog. At first employees may be reluctant to engage openly, so measurement at first may be more to aligned to views, rather than shares or likes. A poll at the end of a post will allow employees to share their opinions anonymously.
Let’s get some CEO blog inspiration
Of course this insight will only be available over time, so here are a few examples of successful and inspirational external CEO blogs. And the beauty is they can easily be tailored to an internal environment:
- Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that he and his wife will be donating 99% of their wealth to good causes in a post, A letter to our daughter. It was liked by over 1.5 million people, received 122,000 comments and was shared over 300,000 times across the globe
- Richard Branson has been blogging successfully for years. One of his latest blogs, My letter to 25 year-old me, has been shared over 16,000 times in a matter of days on LinkedIn
- Bill Gates shares his love of reading in his blog, The Gates Notes. He reads over 50 books a year and frequently reviews certain titles, such as, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
- Bill Marriott shares a vulnerable side by posting about his mother on Mother’s Day 2015, who passed away 15 years ago
- Richard Edelman, president and CEO of Edelman, regularly shares his thoughts and insights on the latest communications trends. In January he published a summary from Davos 2016
- Video offers an alternative way to deliver messages, and can remove any misconceptions of the senior team. This video from Walt Street Journal introducing Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella, is a great example, and doesn’t take much editing: