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Pros and Cons of Blogging for Corporate Communications

According to an article in today’s Financial Times, which quotes Jonathan Schwartz and Scott McNealy on the benefits of blogs, here are the main reasons executives should blog:

  • Leaders can communicate directly with customers, suppliers and investors, as well as employees, helping disseminate and explain strategy.
  • Blogs give the writer an opportunity to answer critics in a controlled forum.
  • Compared with conference or printed memos to all staff, blogs are highly cost effective.
  • A well written blog can give a human face to an otherwise anonymous corporation.

And the dangers of blogging…

  • The best non-corporate blogs are spontaneous and genuine. Poorly written corporate blogs can look fake — or perhaps worse, they reveal incompetence on he part of the writer.
  • It is difficult for executives to write freely, particularly at listed companies where they are legally required to publish significant information to all investors at the same time.
  • There is a risk that an ill-judged comment could be seized upon by the media or disgruntled investors.

I disagree with the last one. Using blogs for corporate communications is great way to refute ill-judged claims by critics.

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