Here’s a long article on corporate blogging in US News — Blogging Bosses. We’re in there with a bunch of other companies that have executive bloggers. It’s a pretty nice piece, and it’s great that Sun is always in these big blogging articles in the national press. But one quote made me chuckle a bit:
But for all the advantages that executive blogs may offer, they still pose daunting questions for corporations. One of the most critical: Can executives, ever cognizant of the need for discretion, really sound credible in the raw, straight-talking world of blogs?
Yes and no, says Argenti. “It’s naive to think these blogs are anything other than carefully planned communications. Because of regulation and the possibility of attacks from antagonists, companies can’t be off the cuff in their communication.” However, he adds, “it’s a good thing that there’s more communication from senior executives, because people don’t want these folks sitting in an ivory tower.”
It’s the “carefully planned” and “can’t be off the cuff” parts that are funny. At Sun? Right. I don’t see it that way at all. “Carefully planned” and “can’t be off the cuff” imply control from corporate communications. But BSC grew from the edge — not the center — far from corporate communications. In fact, the entire thing was launched with no formal announcement whatsoever. Also, no one is planning what we write. For my part, I decide what I’m going to write moments before I do it, and whatever comes out comes out. I follow the guidelines, and so far it’s worked out ok.
BSC is a diverse community that shares a vision and promotes the free exchange of ideas throughout the company and across the firewall. It’s not a “carefully planned communications” mechanism acting on behalf of a corporate message. It’s just the opposite, actually. That’s why it works. Because its everything but “carefully planned communications.”