The best corporate blogger meet at the World Economic Forum Davos 2016

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.

[su_custom_gallery source=”media: 3046″ limit=”7″ link=”image” target=”blank” width=”792px” height=”473px” Title=”Jonas Prising is an influencer according to LinkedIn – guess what metrics they use?” alt=”Jonas Prising is an influencer according to LinkedIn – guess what metrics they use?”]

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.

[su_custom_gallery source=”media: 3049″ limit=”7″ link=”image” target=”blank” width=”792px” height=”473px” Title=”Yes, everybody has a voice and WEF Davos is a great platform, BUT does anybody want to listen?” alt=”Yes, everybody has a voice and WEF Davos is a great platform, BUT does anybody want to listen?”]

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.

[su_custom_gallery source=”media: 3071″ limit=”7″ link=”image” target=”blank” width=”779px” height=”289px” Title=”Allow your readers to have a conversation with you and the content will be spread on social networks” alt=”Allow your readers to have a conversation with you and the content will be spread on social networks”]

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.

[su_custom_gallery source=”media: 3051″ limit=”7″ link=”image” target=”blank” width=”792px” height=”473px” Title=”Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of Nestlé SA: Blogging about Water and things that go way beyond Nestlé” alt=”Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of Nestlé SA: Blogging about Water and things that go way beyond Nestlé”]

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.

[su_custom_gallery source=”media: 3073″ limit=”7″ link=”image” target=”blank” width=”780px” height=”287px” Title=”Maybe it would be a good move to host the blog on its own domain away from Nestlé, and also make it easier for readers to share content.” alt=”Maybe it would be a good move to host the blog on its own domain away from Nestlé, and also make it easier for readers to share content.”]

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.

[su_custom_gallery source=”media: 3076″ limit=”7″ link=”image” target=”blank” width=”799px” height=”231px” Title=”Erna Solberg is authentic, personable and funny on her blog. Too bad she does not answer any comments left by her voters.” alt=”Erna Solberg is authentic, personable and funny on her blog. Too bad she does not answer any comments left by her voters.”]

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.

[su_custom_gallery source=”media: 3072″ limit=”7″ link=”image” target=”blank” width=”680px” height=”660px” Title=”Erna Solberg – just join the conversation on your blog and its content will be spread far and wide” alt=”Erna Solberg – just join the conversation on your blog and its content will be spread far and wide”]

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

CLICK on IMAGE - DrKPI - Top 100 CEO bloggers.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.

[su_box title=”5 Links about the WEF Davos 2016 Top 100 Bloggers you want to bookmark” box_color=”#86bac5″ title_color=”#ffffff” radius=”5″ width=”px 700″ ]

Even better, sign up for the newsletter to get our next one AND those about NFL Super Bowl, NGOs, Soccer, Fashion, Luxury Brands… Here are the links you need:

1. Overall list – WEF Davos 2016 Top 100 CEO bloggers – Christine Lagard – IMF
2. Details Mezzo Level – WEF Davos 2016 Best 100 CEO Bloggers – Richard Edelman – Edelman Trust Barometer
3. Details – Content Strategy – WEF Davos 2016 – Dr Francis Collins, NIH Director
4. Details – Brand Image and Impact – WEF Davos 2016 Best 100 CEO Bloggers – Maler Heyse
5. Details – Conversation and Social Sharing – WEF Davos 2016 Best 100 CEO Bloggers – Ron Tolido – Capgemini
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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.

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1. Keep at it or get out
Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk posted in July 2015. Since then, staff have posted on the blog. The result is that resonance has dropped like a stone.
You have to either post regularly – every 30 to 45 days – or face the consequences!

2. It is not about self-branding
Top bloggers Mark Cuban and Richard Branson show that one must keep readers engaged.
Honesty and talking straight while taking a position matters to your readers.

3. Engage and listen
“Dialogue is not monologue: If nobody responds and comments, how do you know anybody cares about your content? If they do, respond politely, and ADD value.”
As stated in WEF Davos 2015 100 top bloggers. And yes, getting comments is not easy (don’t I know it)!

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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.

More about DrKPI BlogRank – the Hit Parade

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.

11 replies
  1. Peter Fritsche
    Peter Fritsche says:

    Interesting article

    Checking some of the stuff I wasn wondering … How many comments are these CEOs even getting.

    1. Do you have data that shows if they get reader comments AND if they answer these?
    2. What about social shares, do they get any?

    Would love to see these.

    • Urs E. Gattiker
      Urs E. Gattiker says:

      Hi Peter

      Thanks so much for your feedback. You are asking:

      1. Do you have data that shows if they get reader comments AND if they answer these?
      2. What about social shares, do they get any?

      In der Tabelle erwähne ich:
      5. Details – Conversation and Social Sharing – WEF Davos 2016 Best 100 CEO Bloggers – Jim Yong – President of the World Bank Group
      If you get to that page there are two options at the bottom of the 100 best CEO bloggers.

      conversation – show score information – here I give you the link https://drkpi.com/rank/*/*/CEOs/top100/52/blogs.worldbank.org/voices/blogs/jim-yong-kim
      social sharing – show score information – next http://drkpi.com/rank/*/*/CEOs/top100/51/blogs.worldbank.org/voices/blogs/jim-yong-kim

      Interesting is that some people like Mark Cuban has many shares on LinkedIn but basically nothing on average on Twitter or Google Plus.
      In contrast, Erna Solberg has much on Facebook but nothing on LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter or Google+

      But regardless, they reach a few people indeed.
      I hope this is useful.

      Thanks for sharing.

      • Peter Fritsche
        Peter Fritsche says:

        Hi Urs
        Thanks so much for the answer that is very interesting. But I am still concerned about the comments. I looked at the jllblog and it looks as if underlings have replied 3 times (boring by the way).

        So is this having a dialog and listening intently?

        • Urs E. Gattiker
          Urs E. Gattiker says:

          Dear Mr. Fritsche

          Thanks so much for getting back. Yes, I pointed out that Klaus Schwab wants dialogue. But unfortunately, not necessarily his delegates and staff (see here: WEF Davos 2016: Talk is cheap
          Some corporates creat special blogs for WEF Davos only such as the jllblog.com

          But these blogs do not get the same resonance as those listed above from CEOs that blog regularly and provide content that gives their target audience added value.

          For instance, you can find Colin Dyer’s Blog post here on the “JLL | Notes from Davos.” http://www.jllblog.com/davos/colin-dyer-arriving-in-davos/.

          He got 3 comments on a blog entry that reminds of a story published in a freesheet = little depth.

          He does not answer to any of the blog commenters’ contributions.

          My blog comment posed a question to him shown below here:

          But since you rarely blog during the year, we were unable to include this interesting blog in our benchmark.
          Why does the top brass of JLL not blog during the year about these important issues discussed in Davos. The issues still matter during the rest of the year as well, don’t they?
          Respectfully
          urs

          Here is my blog comment that did not get published on his blog 48 hours after I left it. This indicates, either he does not want to answer the question or comments are not moderated carefully and my comment ended up in the spam cue for some reason.
          Talk is cheap: Posting a blog entry is 1 thing, fostering dialogue by answering reader comments is a whole different ballgame.

          Fostering dialogue in a blog is difficult.
          Not publishing a comment (see image/screenshot ABOVE), is a no no.

          The 3 comments published with this blog entry are all from company staff.
          This does not suggest that the blog’s target audience (i.e. clients and prospects) is that much interested in content from WEF Davos 2016.

          Finally, if you do not answer your reader comments, you seem to still be in the broadcasting mode. Commenters deserve an answer and, most importantly, our research shows your readers love to study those as well.

          So to answer your question regarding answering reader comments and having a dialogue:

          Some blogging CEOs are very good at writing content that adds value to readers (whoever they target that is).
          A large group does not get it and fails to answer the comments they get. YES sad but true. As Klaus Schwab points out elsewhere, listening intently requires a big effort on our part.

  2. Aldo Svercicch
    Aldo Svercicch says:

    Last week during the WEF press conference the attending journalist from the Chinese government-owned broadcaster put an interesting question to the organisers.
    She asked what the last 45 WEF Davos meetings have specifically and concretely achieved.
    The bland reply from the organisers was that the WEF offers a platform that enables many processes to be started…. end of reply.

    Not very useful. It seems as if some of the powerful CEOs and political leaders are attending and will primarily talk to each while attending receptions and so forth.
    President Gauck’s talk last night about the refugee crisis was an example. Well presented, good content but will it change anything… or as you wrote last week “talk is cheap”

    • Urs E. Gattiker
      Urs E. Gattiker says:

      Aldo
      Thanks for replying

      Yes, it is an issue what happens with all those resolutions and ideas shared in Davos. Last night President Joachim Gauck did try the rattle the cage with his speech. It was admirable but will it make a difference?

      As well, some leaders blog during Davos on a special Davos blog that their firm may have created, but during the rest of the year these issues are pushed into the background. No news, no blogging. An example are the “JLL | Notes from Davos.” http://www.jllblog.com/davos/colin-dyer-arriving-in-davos/

      Maybe you are right and it is all for nothing. I am more upbeat and I hope that talking about important issues in Davos puts them in front of the public. In other words, media coverage is quite big and I hope that this will help making things clearer in many citizens’ minds.

      Thanks for sharing
      urs
      #bestblogger #fashion #blogger #styleblogger #bloggerstyle

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