In most cases, yes.
Recently David Meerman Scott ignited a great discussion when he wrote the post ”Does Harvard Business School know what a blog is?” about a hot topic in business blogging land.
It’s a very interesting discussion going on there, please check not only the post, but the comments too.
For those who are interested in business blogging, there are some guidelines on the same topic.
Yes, you can have a blog editor in your business blog
I fully agree on David’s remark that “fixing “errors” quickly evolves into control in my experience.” But this is true only in corporate blog (or, in this case, may be true in Harvard Business School Publishing blog).
What differentiates corporate blog from business blog is that in business blog, the blogger is also the business owner, the CEO, the General Manager or other high – ranking authority when in the corporate blog there are some second – ranking guys who are writing it. (More about these differences can be found in my free e-book The New Rules of Business Blogs)
When you are a CEO, nobody can control your writing. Nobody except the board or shareholders.
If the shareholders do not like what the CEO is writing in the business blog, the solution is not to control the CEO’s writing but to change the CEO.
A CEO in his business blog must clearly express his company’s uniqueness and be passionate about it. He must be the best spokesperson of the company. The best spokesperson who talks to clients not only through old media, old school PR departments but is able to talk to clients directly through his business blog.
In business blogging the editor has no chance to control the content of the blog. He simple doesn’t have an authority to do that.
Most CEOs are poor writers
Yes, it’s true. Most CEOs are comfortable in “corpspeak” and are not able to speak in buyers language.
That’s why a blog editor may be useful. He can force the CEO to come down from the Ivory Tower and start to talk with the customers directly using customer’s language.
Nothing is worse than the CEO who lost touch with his customers. The company with such a CEO is in trouble. Think about Rick Wagoner, the CEO of General Motors. What topic Rick speaks comfortably about? About unions, healthcare benefits, ”unfair competition” from Japan manufacturers. Can he talk without pompastics with the ordinary customer? I can’t imagine that.
This gap between the CEO and a customer is the most dangerous in the corporate world. Business blogging can help the CEOs to narrow this gap. And all ways to achieve this are good. Even the having of a blog editor.
OK, let’s call this person not a blog editor, but the blogging coach. Maybe these words will sound to you more appropriate.
Can the blog editor be from the PR department?
David Meerman Scott is absolutely right there. Most PR people have no idea about the blogosphere’s culture.
Think of the Wall-Mart and Edelman scandal. For your attention: Steve Rubel, SVP of Edelman has a popular blog but this does not rescue Edelman from bad practice in blogosphere.
A blog editor must be a good writer and a great teacher. He must help the CEO to talk with customers through his business blog . He must help the CEO to go from corptalk to simple human talk. He must help the CEO to curb his ego and fears. He must encourage the CEO to be open and honest.
BL Ochman recently wrote an article Should Every Company Blog? Hell No!. Please, read her post. She raised good points there except post frequency.
Why do I disagree about post frequency?
The answer is in my e-book The New Rules of Business Blogs. Please download it and if you are not a CEO, please feel free to send the link of this e-book or print it and pass to your companys CEO.
Disclosure: I am mentioned in recent David’s book The New Rules of Marketing and PR in the chapter about blogging outside North America.