First stop London. Started the day at our London office talking about online reputation management at a breakfast meeting with clients and colleagues. The question came up about whether CEOs should be blogging. Someone mentioned that one company does not let its top execs blog while another welcomes the practice. My sense is that it is fine to let senior executives blog as long as guidelines exist and policies are clearly outlined and articulated. I bet that less than 25% of employees even know that their company has employee guidelines for social media. As for CEOs blogging, I think it depends on the company’s culture, whether the CEO has anything to say and whether employees think his or her time would be better spent with customers and employees face-to-face. It is a 50-50 proposition since it works for some companies and can be an irritant to others.
One of our findings in Risky Business: Reputations Online was that the vast majority of executives (87%) have sent or received at least one email that they should not have. My colleague mentioned an incident that happened in London last week. Apparently one company sent its board meeting minutes to the entire workforce. Not a good thing. Will find out more.
While on the train now to my next market, Paris, I read Lucy Kellaway’s article about recent reader emails that are drifting back to more formal punctuation and grammar. No longer is she opening a message with “Hey there” or “Rgds.” Today her unsolicited emails begin with “Dear Ms. Kellaway” and close with “Sincerely.” I agree with Ms. Kellaway that the recession has sobered up a lot of people: “When people are losing their jobs, correct dress and usage of words seem like a good insurance policy.” People are clearly more conscious of their personal reputation and understand that every impression counts, online and offline.
Will continue to write about my impressions as I travel the continent.