Executive blogs: Keep the lawyers away

I’ve never met John Dvorak, the outspoken US tech columnist, but I’ve been reading his material for a long time in journals like PC Magazine and, recently, his blog precisely for his outspoken-ness. He certainly has opinions and he ain’t afraid to tell you them!

I came across his riposte on his blog yesterday of the Business Week piece about blogging for business, published on 9 August (I’ve also posted some comments about this article). John says:

If anyone thinks that the corporate lawyers and the PR folks are going to let a bunch of CEOs go jack-wacky on personal blogs, they’re nuts. In this puff-piece, the web log of Jon Schwartz, pony-tailed ersatz CEO of Sun Microsystems, is highlighted as some sort of uber-blogging tour-de-force.

Um, he’s COO not CEO, according to the Sun website. Or is that what ‘ersatz CEO’ means? Anyway, John makes an interesting point re the involvement of lawyers and PR folk in executive blogging.

Of course the lawyers (and maybe the PR folk) will get involved if the CxO of a company starts a personal blog. That’s their due diligence process. Where the alarm bell would ring is if they want to do any kind of review of material before it’s published.

If a business leader gets blogging, I want to know that he’s doing it himself, uncensored and uncontrolled. Otherwise he may as well put a disclaimer on the blog saying something like “This is what I think and have views about after they’ve been sanitized by the lawyers and the PR department.”

Meanwhile, head over to John’s blog to see all that he has to say on this topic, and some of the posted comments: Dvorak Uncensored | Blogging for Business

And, the Business Week article.

2 thoughts on “Executive blogs: Keep the lawyers away

  1. I really appreciate your point of view on this question as many articles I read on your blog, and as french PR prof I am happy having discovered your blog. Congratulations for your very interesting posts.

  2. Thanks, Guillaume, I appreciate your comments.
    I’m sure this whole topic of PR involvement in executive blogs will continue to be a hot one.
    See my post today about the Yahoo! corporate blog and the quoted comments in there about the role PR will play.

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