The CEO’s job

A letter to Business Week in response to the magazine’s cover story on blogging asks, “Is this really what we want our corporate leaders spending hours a day doing?”

Yes. Definitely.

In thinking this through, it’s important to put a corporate leader’s blogging efforts in context. Step back from the new technology and all the attention the software gets and consider what blogging is:


Ask most CEOs what their job is, and they’ll tell you that communication represents a massive part of their responsibilities. (I once heard a CEO say the letters stand for “customers, employees, and owners,” the primary audiences with whom… Read More »

Internal uses of blogs

Among the letters Business Week received in response to its cover story on blogging came this one: “What you nail is that blogs have become a killer app for public relations and marketing. But it’s less clear that they are effective for internal communications. For that, the blog format is very much overhyped.”

I’ve been engaged in employee communication for 28 years. When I started as an employee communications representative at ARCO in 1977, we used manual typewriters, a Compugraphics typesetting machine, and our primary communication vehicle was the weekly newspaper, the ARCOspark. I’ve watched all the advances in communication and… Read More »

Strategy first, then tactics

While there’s ample reporting these days about the blogging backlash, I’m not reading much about the concurrent backlash against wikis. Yet as the blogging skeptics and critics find their voice, wikis are getting bound up in the discussion. For example, a post expressing dismay about IBM’s employee blogging initiative, “The PC Doctor” also takes a swipe at the wiki IBM used to set its employee blogging policies. The comment includes a link to Hacknot and a post by “Mr. Ed” that articulates the author’s issues with wikis in excruciating detail.

Mr. Ed makes several assertions in his post without troubling himself with any supporting… Read More »

The Hobson & Holtz Report - Podcast #33: May 16, 2005

Content summary: Solving recent audio problems; listeners’ comments (on improving audio quality; blocking employee access to blogs; tools to create RSS feeds; Nikon’s camera problems and the PR perspective; the media and podcasting; media training movie); readers write to Business Week about their blogging cover story; upcoming communication and blog events in Australia; search engine optimization and blogs; IBM’s strategic initiative on company-wide employee blogging; upcoming interviews.

Show notes for May 16, 2005

download mp3 podcast

Welcome to For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report, a 41-minute conversation recorded live from Concord,… Read More »

Another company to avoid

The full-page ad on page86 of the June 2005 issue of PC World features a large headline screaming from a red background: “Record Everything Your Employees Do On The Internet.” The bottom features the heads of three employees. On their foreheads are these words:

“I pass company secrets via the web.”
“I surf porn websites from behind my cubicle walls.”
“I shop online after closing my office door.”

The ad is from SpectorSoft, maker of Spector CNE—Corporate Network Edition—yet another tool designed to kill any hope of employee engagement. Oops, sorry. It’s designed to (according to the ad) “provide an immediate and accurate record of… Read More »

Gates’ prediction on iPods works for me

There’s a lot of discussion over Bill Gates’ prediction that cell phones will eventually displace the iPod as the media player of choice. Over at Strategic Public Relations, there’s skepticism: “...are we asking too much from a device where small size is clearly an advantage? I mean, several mobile phone models are starting to look more like a choking hazard than a wireless communication device.”

Gates would clearly love to see Apple’s share of the digital media player plummet as his Microsoft wireless phone platform swoops in to gobble up MP3 listeners. In his speech in Frankfurt, he even noted that Apple once held a dominant share of… Read More »

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