A UK CEO’s blog post on Brexit offers lessons for other companies wanting to cut through online noise.
Richard Branson, co-founder of the Virgin Group, the UK investment conglomerate, has a blog on the company’s website, called ‘Richard’.
After the UK voted last week to leave the European Union, he wrote a post, ‘Calling for Parliament to take a second look at the EU referendum’. He criticised the UK’s Leave campaign for misleading the public, said that the vote was based on ‘false promises’, and urged people to sign a petition calling on Parliament to re-run the vote.
Branson’s post takes a clear position on a controversial political issue, something many companies will be hesitant about. Branson’s forays into social media are not always so interesting, as we have noted here.
However, several companies we know are grappling with the question of how to gain traction for their online content amid all the noise. Addressing issues with a defined ‘point of view’ is one of the ways to do this, and ‘not being boring’ is another, both of which Branson accomplishes with his Brexit piece.
Organizations struggle to take clear-cut opinions for cultural reasons (reticence to stick heads above parapets) and practical reasons (no time to blog, worried about backlash). Your CEO does not have to go as far as having a public view on Brexit to be interesting – a clear-cut and compellingly argued take on, for example, an industry issue can be just as valuable for getting attention online.