Social & Cooperation

Senior Manager blogs and non-blogs

…… Part of The Basics series. First published in February 2010 ……

I’d like to share some comments based on my experience with very large organizations and some numbers from “Global Intranet Trends for 2010”.

Large organizations have major challenges in communication.

Top-down communication is hard for two reasons: (1) there are lots of
intermediaries in the flow, e.g.divisional, regional and local
communication managers, and (2) there is an intuitive reticence, even
mistrust in some cases, of what comes “down” from the HQ office.

Bottom-up communication is equally hard because what starts at the bottom often stays at the bottom.

The figures in the 2010 report clearly show that senior managers in many large organizations are using blogs to improve communication flow, to break through some of the barriers and silos.  However, there is still a lot some of them need to learn about  blogging!

Blogging at 45%, senior bloggers fewer

45 percent of the survey population at the end of 2009 reported having internal blogs. The figures in the chart represent the 131 enterprises with internal blogs out of the full survey population of 283 enterprises worldwide.

Senior managers in very large organizations (over 30,000 employees) are more likely to blog than those in smaller organizations.

In the first segment, 10 percent of the organizations using social media report having “quite a few” senior manager blogs and nearly 50 percent “a few”. In the medium-small group: none responded “quite a few” and 15 percent responded “a few”.

The blog usages that differ the most are “distribution of news” 80 percent (medium-small: 60 percent), and “collecting feedback”  nearly 70 percent (medium-small: nearly 40 percent).

Senior manager bloggers aim to show transparency and engage people

The purposes of the senior management blogs:
•    Talking about strategic issues (83 percent)
•    Showing openness & transparency (77 percent)
•    Sharing opinions, engaging people (74 percent)
•    Sharing news and updates (54 percent)
•    Sharing expertise and experience (38 percent).

Some senior manager blogs are not blogs

Not all the senior managers write their own posts. They do not always respond to comments and questions on the blog. Comments from  survey participants show different approaches to senior manager blogs

« We absolutely require that senior manager bloggers write their own posts. No ghostwriting allowed!

« CEO blog is written for him – and comments that purport to come from CEO are also written for him.

« Have started experimenting in the last nine months – becoming quite competitive! Although most of the senior manager blogs are open to comments or questions, the senior manager actually responds less than half the time.

«  Employees are encouraged to ask questions, but via forms or e-mail, not open comments.

« Posts from senior managers and the board tend to attract a lot of comments which they are happy to respond to.

« The CEO’s blog doesn’t allow comments so communication is in one direction only – I don’t know if you would categorize this as a true blog, although that’s what it’s been dubbed.