Tag Archives: CEO

Help me name my new book about blogging!

Can you help me please? I need help naming my new book!

I’ve been working on a new book about blogging for a while now and I expect to finish it off next week – the main draft at least. The focus is on content marketing and how more CEOs than ever are blogging and appreciating that blogs and social media are a very important way of reaching out to their customers *and* the people who influence their customers.

I need to think of a title for the book so does anyone have any ideas? I was thinking of ideas like ‘Your boss – the blogger’ but I need something catchy and creative… all comments appreciated and if I do actually borrow an idea then I’ll make sure you get a credit in the book!

You can comment here on the blog or if you follow this link to my Facebook then feel free to comment there – thanks in advance!

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How much is too much?

The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, earns £142,500 a year. He actually took a 5% pay cut when he took up the position, a political move to show sympathy with those struggling along in tough post-recession times.

Now a new survey has revealed that 9,000 public sector workers earn more than the Prime Minister. But why should anyone be shocked?

The Prime Minister’s salary is artificially low and kept that way for political reasons, because the public don’t like to see elected officials earning too much cash. There is a strong argument for paying them more, because by paying them the market rate for an official with a large responsibility, you remove the potential for fraud. The 2009 expenses scandal shows that expenses were ‘topping up’ MP salaries and countries like Singapore insist on paying their elected officials a high basic rate, with very few additional perks to avoid these kind of issues.

Compare this to the private sector – Chief Executives of major British companies can now expect salaries of above £1m. About a quarter of the FTSE 100 chiefs earn in excess of £5m a year.

Compare these wages to the Prime Minister and it looks more like he is running the country as a hobby, just banking the experience for a future of earning money on the lecture circuit.

So why shouldn’t there be senior public sector officials earning more than the Prime Minister? They are not elected into a position that needs them to constantly pander to voters. They are appointed and given a budget and targets – if they do a good job at managing a huge budget and team of thousands, then why can’t they earn a similar rate to the private sector?

Or should we expect everyone to work in the public sector for peanuts – as a gift to the nation?
Westminster Station

Employees first, customers second

The CEO of Indian technology giant, Vineet Nayar, has just published a book called ‘Employees First, Customers Second’ with the Harvard Business School Press. It challenges the conventional wisdom of business in any industry – that the customer is always right – by suggesting that if you focus on looking after your employees then they will ensure the customers are happy.

I’m going to meet Vineet tomorrow to record an interview about the book and his philosophy on management. If you would like to send a question for me to use during the interview then do get in touch…

Getting ready for NASSCOM 2010

India Inc

Vikas Pota and his new book, India Inc, need no introduction. It has been suggested that I blitz the media with information whenever I have a new book coming out, but Vikas has surpassed my efforts and managed to get information about his book everywhere.

And it’s a timely book too. Just as the world is heading into a recovery from the past few years of economic slowdown, Vikas has studied and interviewed – at length – ten of the most important entrepreneurs in India. Rather than the usual corporate sound-bites, we have here a masterclass from each leader.

The official launch is at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Westminster tonight. If you are going to be there then please do say hello. If not, then take a look at the book website and get a copy. It’s time to hear what some real leaders are thinking.

Is it a crime to be a ghost?

As I scanned what my Twitter friends were saying today I saw a tweet expressing shock at hearing about ‘corporate ghost blogging’. I noticed a few tweets mentioning the subject today, probably as a result of the discussion going on at the Dell B2B huddle in Bracknell.

Ghost blogging elicits a shocked response from many in the online community, who believe that it’s no longer real or engaging if a corporate blogger has had all the work done for them by a writer.

It’s certainly true. There is a lot of corporate spam out there – particularly on Twitter. Accounts that just advertise various products or services are not what I’m focused on at all – or interested in.

What interests me is where do you draw the line and say that a blogger is no longer a ‘real’ blogger because his/her material is ghosted?

I work with companies in several sectors, including IT, law, consulting, and in many cases I am involved in drafting blogs. I see it really as an extension of the corporate writing work I’ve been doing for ages. Companies used to ask writers like me to come up with ‘Thought Leadership’ or material they could use in ‘white papers’.

For corporates, blogging is a natural extension of this earlier thought leadership. They want to be seen with a voice, an opinion, and some knowledge about the industry in which they operate – and all without a direct sales pitch.

So when we talk about ghost blogging online in shocked and horrified voices, let’s start drawing a distinction. When I do it, I’m taking rough blog drafts from executives and turning their copy into something worth blogging, making their use of language more direct, making the comment more open-ended to encourage debate. I’m not writing the blog for them, I’m just polishing up their own efforts because most execs either have a shortage of time or a shortage of writing experience. To a journalist, cranking out 200 words is easy. To a busy exec with no journalism experience, that’s half a day sitting and writing then improving the copy.

Sometimes I will write an entire blog, but that will be based on a conversation with the exec – who is normally rushing around somewhere in a taxi or limo. It’s not crafted from the depths of my own mind.

So, if I’m polishing up some executive thoughts and making them worth blogging, then is that really cheating?

If people think it is, then they might want to have a look at the serious press. Take a look at all those guest columns where captains of industry have sent 800-words to the editor on a burning issue. Do you really think that CEO sat down and crafted the newspaper column without running it past someone to tidy up?

Twitter is another topic entirely. As many companies have found, it’s difficult to create a corporate account and expect thousands of avid followers to come and follow a stream of press releases. Executives making Twitter work well are doing so because it’s short, direct, and personal – and written by the person on the profile.

So where do we draw the line with ghosting and blogs?