You know that those in the upper layers of management at your company have a much different perspective than you or anyone else. To get a “big picture” view of the business, sometimes you have to look down from the top. If those people at the top aren’t contributing to your blog, you (and your readers) are missing out.
The trouble is, they’re busy – pulled in a dozen directions at once, in and out of meetings all day. They may not enjoy writing. They may not be good at writing. So, how can you help them get past their (understandable) resistance for a better, well-rounded blog?
1) Show Them the Value
Blogging in general can be extremely rewarding for companies. In fact, companies that blog generate 70% more leads than those that do not. As vital as their role is in the company at large, their role on the blog is just as important. It’s not complete without their input.
When your leadership team contributes, it builds trust, humanizes the brand, and gives readers added insight into the company and the top people behind it. It may be that every person in your company has something of value to add, but human nature being what it is – people pay more attention to the person with the impressive title.
2) Make it Easy
Learn a little more about the role of each leadership team member at the company and figure out what unique perspective they have to offer. Then think of your customer’s challenges and goals and give them a short list of five topics only they could truly cover. Supply a little inspiration by including links to related articles.
Don’t ask them to write the whole thing, either. If they can supply just a few points, you can run with it. Another great option is an interview piece. For blogging, stay away from often boring, “Meet our CEO” topics and instead focus on their answers to common customer questions, objections, take on industry news, etc.
It may be that all you’ll get from your leadership team are blog post topics – and that’s alright, too! You may find that the topics they suggest aren’t exactly right for your blog, but converting them to a topic that works is a great challenge. It will also force you or the assigned writer out of your comfort zone. You’ll have to learn something new, which can lead to continued expansion of blogging topics over time, even if management doesn’t keep it up.
3) Dealing with Industry Jargon and Tech-Speak
If you find that some of your leadership team members are eager to write for the blog, you may soon wish you’d never asked. They may be used to writing for technical journals and their peers – not usually the intended audience for your blog. The use of technical and industry-specific terms may be enough to make your eyes cross – and you at least understand the business! Imagine the “THUD” when it hits the blog.
Avoid the potential awkwardness that can arise from a heavy edit of their hard work. Tell them before they start to write just who they are writing for. Paint a picture of the reader’s level of understanding of your industry. Or, ask them to pretend they are talking to someone they just met at a cocktail party, trade show or business retreat. It still may be necessary to take it down a notch when they’re done, but at least they’ll understand why.
4) Make Them Look Good
Some of the most intelligent people in your company are lousy writers. Most of the time, they know it. Make it easy for them by asking for just a few sentences, maybe some bullet points and some sources for more information. Then take what they’ve provided and give it to your best writer and editor and let them turn it into something amazing.
Seeing their own thoughts (if not their own words) looking so good may encourage them to continue.
Give your management team blogs plenty of exposure, sharing them on all social channels (including groups and communities). Encourage employees to share them to their own Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, to comment or like on Facebook, +1 on Google+, etc.
5) Foster Positive Reinforcement
When a blog post written by a leadership team member brings in website traffic, comments, or leads, let the writer know. She may have a fancy title and a company car, but everyone likes to hear that they did good work.
Do you have any favorite blogs that feature leadership team writers? Feel free to share below. Have you been successful in implementing this on your own blog? Fantastic! We’d love to hear how you made it happen and how it’s improved your blog.