Great CEOs know they need help getting the word out. It’s why they frequently hire a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), have a dedicated marketing department, hire an outside ad agency, PR consultant, or all of the above. It’s also the reason many now consider ghost blogging assistance, now known by the unflattering term of flogging.
My take is that it depends on the situation. If blogging is not a means of personal expression, then it’s either a revenue resource or a marketing tool. As a marketing tool, I can easily argue it requires a marketing mind and potentially paid marketing professionals to help the blog sing (or work to the company’s best advantage).
Ghost writing is an age-old profession that includes great well-known writers as in “as told to” stories, and many never known writers who have successfully maintained their CIA undercover status and are simply happy to cash client checks while remaining anonymous. Other bloggers are those who have adopted their own split personalities to either:
• Have the freedom of a second voice (such as presenting political ideas that may not match an employers)
• Do market research to test if a new voice or concept will resonate with a public.
• Create a second persona as in Men with Pens (written by a woman). The author claims she only got paid when, like George Eliot, she pretended to be a he.
In a recent panel discussion, the moderator asked the question if Flogging was ethical? Since social media is built on authenticity, it was easy to say “no,” but I deferred to reality. “I make a good portion of my living off flogging,” I noted. Hopefully, I’m correctly representing the by-lined voice, and helping them market their bona fide expertise.
If you are considering marketing your firm, a blog may be a great marketing tool. It might be an even stronger marketing tool if it’s included as part of your marketing plan, so you’re clear what voice and goals it needs to adopt and address. And, as with other portions of your marketing plan, it may be best implemented by your internal marketing department or agency. Call them floggers, if you will. I’ll call them your professional marketing team.