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y = QSR + Blog

November 29, 2010

Come on. I know you remember this equation for a straight line (in Slope-Intercept Form) from Algebra class. y = mx + b can either represent stagnant data or an increase or decrease in performance. When it comes to quick-serve restaurants (QSRs) and their blogs, the line representation still rings true. Blogging can either increase brand loyalty or destroy it as fast as a Dixie Chicks outburst.

Mike Myatt, national CEO coach and founder of the consulting firm N2growth, says, “A blog is the perfect platform from which a CEO can engage in a meaningful, authentic, and real-time manner.” David Rutkauskas, founder, president, and CEO of Beautiful Brands International, the parent company of Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe, says, “A CEO must blog with a purpose…”

A great example of blogging with purpose is Dan Cathy’s blog. As President and Chief Operating Officer of Chick-fil-A, a restaurant who’s Corporate Purpose includes the mention of glorifying God and having a positive influence on those who come in contact with Chick-fil-A, it’s only natural for Dan’s blog to influence others to LIVE. LOVE. LEAD. He understands his core audience and effortlessly communicates with them in a way that draws them closer to God, himself, and Chick-fil-A. And yes, I did refer to him by first name; he told me personally to do so. So there!

Pizza Fusion’s blog is another one worth mentioning. They are so passionate about what they do — offering great food while being socially and environmentally responsible — that their blog sometimes features articles about other restaurants. Back in April 2010, Pizza Fusion’s co-founder wrote about Chipotle adding solar panels to some of their restaurants. Posts like this show a transparent goal to be resourceful and responsible in lieu of the most common goal of successful competition. And transparency will eventually turn into profitability.

On the other hand, John Buscall, an online marketing and communications strategist, says “A bad blog — or a rarely updated blog — could do more damage than not blogging at all.” Rand Fiskin, CEO & Co-Founder of SEOmoz, agrees. He listed several reasons to why corporate blogging fails. In my opinion, the two most important reasons are not understanding your audience and attempting to sell your product or service. Read his blog post

So in conclusion, CEOs, here are a few key things to remember when blogging:

  1. Know who you are addressing.
  2. Have a dialogue.
  3. Don’t rant about why your stuff is better.
  4. If the blog is an extension of the brand, DON’T say anything personal.
  5. If the blog is an extension of you, be yourself!

It all sounds so simple, but I bet someone will screw it up.

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