Jeffrey Immelt, the chairman and CEO of GE, watches “30 Rock.”
That’s pretty amusing when you consider that the TV show parodies NBC, taking aim at the network and its former parent company, GE. One of the stars, Alec Baldwin, plays an exaggerated GE exec mentored by the iconic CEO Jack Welch.
Employees of GE know this about Immelt, or at least they should, because he shared his interest in “30 Rock” in the About Me section of his blog, On My Mind. The section—featuring a list of five personal facts about Immelt—sets the tone for the blog, which is candid, well written, and widely read among GE employees.
No wonder it captured the Ragan Recognition Award for Best Executive Blog.
The blog launched in June 2011 as a channel for dialogue between Immelt and GE’s nearly 300,000 employees worldwide. It is also a venue for the company’s CEO to share his observations, and Immelt has done just that. For instance, he’s written about his summer reading list (a topic suggested by readers) and the challenges of promoting GE in a global marketplace.
On globalization, Immelt concedes that building the company’s reputation is a “full-time job,” and one that’s “not easy.”
“But, at GE,” he continues, “we can choose optimism over fear. Our choice is to build our own future. The global economy is challenging. We have the ability to compete in every corner of the world. We are proud of our competitiveness.
“I have always been a salesman. Today, I have a truly great product, GE.”
Immelt’s writing is clear and concise, his message sincere.
The blog runs on WordPress and is updated weekly. New posts are sent to the nearly 10,000 email subscribers and typically are featured in other GE internal channels.
Instead of relying on a set editorial calendar, Immelt and Megan Parker, manager of external communications at GE, come up with the topic of each post on a weekly basis. That way, Immelt can focus on current events, whether it’s within GE or in the news.
The approach is paying off. On My Mind has attracted more than 71,400 visits and about 140,000 page views since its launch in June. Employees spend an average of one minute and 48 seconds on the site and read an average of two posts. The blog has garnered more than 219 comments.