Engage, youngsters first!
In fact, depending on whether they are amongst the audience you want reach, you would be urged to actively engage the younger readers first. Talk to them through the blog, address their issues and encourage them to participate.
It has been my experience that youngsters, who traditionally haven’t had direct access to the top leadership, may sometimes find it a bit daunting to open up to a CEO (or a senior business leader). On the other hand, it is they who are exposed to blogs, social networks and the digital medium most. If you can get them to open up, chances are so will the rest.
Tell me some stories…
Keep your audience engaged - weave a story; embed your message therein. Your blog should reflect you, keep the personal touch. Today’s internet technology allows easy embeds of pictures, audio and video. Embedding a Podcast isn’t very difficult and makes the content even more interesting- Bill Marriott’s blog at features many of them because he, admittedly, doesn’t know how to use a computer and prefers to talk into a dictaphone.
Even though it may be a business need; or as many would claim, a tool to stay relevant in the new business environment; writing a blog can be demanding on time. Also, you may not want to voice all aspects of the organization directly. Consider a collaborative blog with participation from, not just, your leadership team. You will find evangelists at many levels - make them your ambassadors.
Where’s the delete button?
Most corporate blogs are, and should be, moderated but do refrain from using the reject button on comments, unless there was good reason to. Blogs are a trust tool where transparency & feedback are encouraged and indiscreet use of the ‘delete’ button can take these away.
Do pause to think if the intent is indeed malicious. Do not, however, allow profanity or personal slander – not even of a competitor.
What’s really the need?
Having said all this, does your organization really need a blog? Take time out to think through your strategy. What’s the identified need (that a blog can fulfill); for which audience; what are the costs attached (not just money); is your company’s culture supportive of transparent conversations; any legal implications you need to consider; how would you measure success?
Only when you have the answers for these, is it time to log on!