How do you convince leaders to share?

How do you convince your institutional leaders that taking the time to write and share their ideas, challenges, success or stories with the world and the institution is a good thing?

How do you introduce "blogging"1 or podcasting as something that can help an institution communicate better? How do you convince them that it is worth their time?

Yes, there are companies doing this and it's easy to point to others and say "look, they're doing it. We should too." Unfortunately, this doesn't always resonate with an overworked manager, director or president who each have 27 priorities2 and don't understand or care about the Internet. It comes down to what we're exposed to and where we find value.

I read more posts in a day than traditional news media articles. I can't remember the last time I turned on a radio, but I listened to two podcasts today. People like John Gruber, Dan Benjamin, MG Siegler, Horace Dediu, Ben Brooks, Shawn Blanc, Marco Arment and Merlin Mann building significant audiences simply by creating good stuff. They write/record/present ideas that people (mostly geeks, for now) are interested in.

There's no spin, no veil of another persona. These guys are authentic and honest. When they make a mistake, they correct it publicly. They engage with the world and people around them. Nothing they do is complicated. It's not easy, but it's not complicated.

So back to the point. How do you communicate the value of what this is all about to someone who reads a dead tree paper and watches the eleven o'clock news? I'm not judging, merely seeing differences in habit and routine.

I guess what it comes down to is having the attitude of a publisher. On the Internet, we're all publishers and creators on an equal playing field. It's up to us how we roll. Some just haven't realized that the coach has already put them in the game.

So, seriously, how do you convince the president of your company that him starting an authentic, written-solely-by-him blog is a good thing?

  1. I hate to use the term anymore. It has such a hobbyist, grossly personal connotation now. Call it personal publishing, blogging, writing or whatever you want. 

  2. You and I know that this is impossible, but they haven't realized it yet.