Want to give blogging advice? Blog!

12 05 2008

 

I went looking at motorbikes this weekend. I liked the look of the Triumphs but the BMW salesman was very effective. He could tell me the features of the bike, explain ABS breaking, and talk to me about the gears. But anyone who studied the brochures or went to a sales course in BMWs could do that. What made him persuasive was that he could tell me the relative merits of each of the bikes based on his experience of riding them. He was a rider himself, he rode every day, and he was passionate about it. He knew bikes not just as a salesman but as a user so could talk to me about my individual needs with understanding.

Internal communications managers (or external ones, for that matter) can try to persuade their leaders to blog and they can coach them once they get started. But they’re not going to be the best advocates — for or against blogging — or the best coaches, if they don’t blog themselves. 

One of my colleagues blogs behind the firewall, often lamenting how few people comment on her blog. I know how she feels. I blog myself and know how important comments are to the writer. Sometimes I think about dropping my extra-curricular podcast because it’s too much work then I get an email from a listener saying how much the enjoyed an episode or suggesting a topic for a future episode. Understanding those feelings helps me to help my clients who are experiencing the same things.

A leader’s blog might be a business tool but it’s an emotional thing, too. One of the senior leaders at work started a blog recently. His first post was long and he was expecting to be teased for it. When I told him he’d had a comment on it his immediate reaction was, “Stuff them” — he assumed the comment was about the length of the post. In fact it was an encouraging welcome to the blogosphere from a fellow internal blogger.

It would have been easy to misunderstand what was happening here, especially given this guy’s seniority — I think we sometimes forget that the boss has feelings, too. But, as a blogger myself, I understood how he was feeling, how he was nervous about putting his thoughts out there, and eager to hear what people thought but feeling trepidation at the same time. And I knew how he would feel to get that positive comment. 

The old-style corporate newsletter or email-from-on-high is a very different beast from a blog. A communicator who has experience of the removed, aloof newsletter is not going to understand what goes on around a blog unless they’ve been there.

To give effective advice about social media tools, you need to participate in the conversation every way possible.

 

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2 responses

10 09 2009
sandrar

Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

11 08 2010
black celebs

Sign: wdpad Hello!!! faxtr and 4211ugekuxhyqt and 1337 : Cooooool blog really

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