Update 2015-01-24: This blog entry has been cross-posted on SmartDataCollective – The World’s Best Thinkers on Data.
Just about a week ago we discussed how well WEF Davos manages to engage and dialogue with its audience on social media, such as its blog (WEF Davos 2016: Talk is cheap). Incidentally, we have had a bunch of posts about WEF Davos that you should check out.
We are just a few days away from this year’s event, so it’s time to do an encore of WEF Davos 2015: Top 100 CEO bloggers.
1. Jonas Prising – CEO, ManpowerGroup
Most CEOs write plenty, but rarely do they communicate on the web. One example is Jonas Prising, Chairman and CEO of the ManpowerGroup.
He prepared a text that got vetted by his PR folks and posted it on WEF. Then he ‘re-blogged’ it on Huffington Post and finally about six months later, he or one of his assistants re-blogged it on LinkedIn. Wow, that got him to be an influencer on LinkedIn? That’s what I call effective!
Naturally, nobody can accuse him of not making great use of his content. Using the same content four times over is a clever strategy to get more people to consume it.
I would never advise a CEO to post the same stuff several times. Does he not have more to say? Is he that boring? Of course not, right? So why would you want to give that impression?
1. 2015-01-19 – WEF Davos Forum – Jonas Prising – Chairman & CEO ManpowerGroup: There is no school for CEOs
2. 2015-01-20 – Huffington Post – Jonas Prising – There is no school for CEOs – he has not posted there since then.
3. 2015-06-03 – LinkedIn by Jonas Prising – There is no school for CEOs on his profile.
With a Google search you can also find a PDF of this post for download on the Manpower website and more.
2. Krista Donaldson – CEO, D-REV USA
Krista took the time to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) Davos 2015. For that reason, the World Economic Forum made a video about her. In it she outlines succinctly what it takes to bring affordable medical devices to people living on less than US$4 a day.
As quoted above, Sheryl Sandberg stated that everybody has the opportunity to be listened to. Krista Donaldson took this opportunity when the World Economic Forum named her a technology pioneer. Unfortunately, her video netted slightly less than 200 views over twelve months. Considering the 50,000 followers WEF has for its YouTube channel, this is a tiny 0.4 percent – but it rocks! Check it out – VERY informative.
Krista also blogs on not-for-profit D-REV’s website. She posts three to five times a year, but her company’s blog unfortunately does not allow dialogue. That is, readers cannot leave comments; a lost opportunity to share her story better.
If Krista just allows her readers to comment, the blog’s impact will increase dramatically – see numbers here.
3. Peter Brabeck-Letmathe’s Water Challenge blog
Peter Brabeck-Letmathe (Chairman of Nestlé SA) has been blogging for a while. He ranked highly on our DrKPI BlogRank for WEF 2015. He continues to focus on water and food issues, including writing about the latest RISK report from the World Economic Forum.
He allows for comments which other CEOs do as well. BUT what makes his blog different is that when people leave comments, he provides thoughtful answers. Every. Single. Time. Not just once in a blue moon. Hats off!
Here we have a big corporate hot shot that is amazingly personable and honest… I first discovered this during the 2012 WEF when he gave a great talk about water issues. The second time I listened to him giving his input on a panel. His answers provided facts and figures, not just opinions.
However, while the above numbers make it clear that people comment on the Water Challenge blog, those comments are not shared on social networks. This may be due to two factors:
1. The blog is hosted on Nestlé’s domain, and
2. Social network users (e.g., Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp) may not read this blog.
A deeper analysis (see numbers in part here) shows that it is a combination of these effects… If I had five minutes to talk with Peter I would tell him three minor things to change on his blog. In turn, more people will get his message and spread the word about why the water challenge matters to all of us!
4. Erna Solberg’s personal blog
During WEF 2015 the following quote was attributed to Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway:
“A critical issue for women is the possibility to be a mother and the ability to participate fully in the workforce.”
I think this lady does her country proud. Her blog is authentic. It addresses her life as a politician, her concerns, and provides glimpses of her private life (e.g., photos from her kitchen). Of course, the blog is written in Norwegian. Its content marketing is such that she wants to reach her Norwegian constituents regardless of what political color they might be. Smart move. Her blog is not about self-branding, but reaching out.
This blog is an example of how a CEO or politician’s blog should look; authentic and interesting. It is nicely structured, and the text comes with visuals and great headlines.
As the above data illustrate, the only thing that might make it even better is if Ms Solberg would sometimes answer a thoughtful reader comment with a thoughtful reply. That would put her blog over the top…
Incidentally, she is in good company. Most top 100 CEO bloggers usually fail to have a conversation (i.e. most do not get reader comments and none of the top 10 answer their readers).
By the way, it is probably a cultural thing, but there is no domain in her name, just ErnaSolberg.WordPress.com will suffice.
Ranking CEO (top management) bloggers for WEF Davos
We publish our DrKPI BlogRank: Top 100 CEO Bloggers every year (find more on the website).
These numbers can be at your fingertips; just bookmark this entry, WEF Davos 2016 Top 100 CEO bloggers, and you are all set.By the way, many lumenaries attending WEF this year blog too rarely to be included (e.g., Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation).
Bottom line – it is about listening intently!
“Social media has created a historical shift from the historically powerful to the historically powerless. Now everyone has a voice.”
– Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer and Member of the Board, Facebook, US, at the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos
While the idea of Sandberg’s quote is very nice, and an excellent aspirational goal, her statement seems terribly naive – particularly coming from such an intelligent and savvy person.
Having a voice is important. However, few may listen to or even care about what you post, share, tweet, and shout. We may have been historically powerless, but many of us remain so – in addition to being vulnerable (e.g., Syrian crisis).
– Urs E. Gattiker, CEO, DrKPI CyTRAP Labs, Switzerland, not at the 2015 World Economic Foum in Davos
If you are a manager, taking time to be social is hard. It seems easier to tweet or post on Facebook. But if you care about the long tail and organic search results, you want to blog regularly.
Here are my three tips to will help you.
Keep at it! Many have not figured out yet that blogging helps communicate directly with your audience. Being social can make you more approachable. For example, WEF Davos 2016 participants Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, and Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft could try tweeting more.
Tidjane Thiam, CEO of Credit Suisse, and Hiroaki Nakanishi, chairman and CEO of Hitachi, communicate through the usual PR teams and news channels. No time to be social.
What is your take?
– who is your favorite top manager or CEO blogger?
– do you feel WEF Davos gets enough resonance from Internet users?
– do you know what the WEF Davos 2016 buzzline “Fourth Industrial Revolution” means?
– what would you recommend to a novice CEO blogger (ropes to skip)?
I find that the efforts people make to market themselves are, thanks to social media, becoming increasingly noisy. Some advise that we should be selectively famous… i.e. make sure the right people follow you on Twitter or read your blog.
The World Economic Forum provides CEOs a great podium to push their brand and pet projects. Instead they should be more serious thinkers and experts, who try to engage and listen to their audience.
Declaration of Conflicting Interests
The author declares that he has no conflict of interest with respect to his authorship of this article.
He has no business relationship with or sponsorship from any organisation mentioned herein.