Excecutive Blogging – Drivel And Spin, or Pure Message?

Fascinating interview in BusinessWeek Online with Jonathan Schwartz, president and chief operating officer of Sun and recent blogging convert.

Six weeks into blogging, and he believes evey executive should have one. “It’ll be no more mandatory that they have blogs than that they have a phone and an e-mail account,” BW quotes Schwartz as saying. “If they don’t, they’re going to look foolish.”

Executive blogs, what we should perhaps called xlogs, could eventually grab a lion’s share of the Internet audience, BW quotes Chris Charron of tech consultancy Forrester Research as saying. The idea: you reach your audience more directly, you don’t have to give dozens of interviews which are edited down to fit the journalist’s whim, deadline, agenda or angle, and you still can hit the links before lunch. Says Schwartz: “I’d rather be driving the dialogue than be run over by it.”

Interesting, and good news. So long as one or two things don’t happen. First, executives musn’t shout down other employees who also have blogs. If corporate blogging just becomes a replica of the corporate hierarchy it and we are doomed. And, secondly, in defence of my profession, I don’t think that executives should start dismissing interview requests by referring journalists to what they’ve written on their blogs. Journalists now have more background to read, but blogging shouldn’t make it harder for them to get access.

That’s because journalists will never write what executives think they should write. If they do, they probably aren’t doing their job. Their stories may not exactly reflect the message the exec wants to get out, but that’s because journalists are being paid to think for themselves. In fact, I sometimes wonder why execs and PR types waste their breath spinning away in an interview, while we twiddle our pencils waiting for them to answer the question. Xlogging, at its best, could be the raw vision of the company, conveyed to the end user. At its worst, it’s going be miles of drivel and spin, and readers are going to be begging for journalists to come back and filter it out for them.

09. August 2004 by jeremy
Categories: Blogs, E-commerce | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 comments

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