Best Blog

Executive’s candid blog boosts intranet readership

The director of the U.S. Geological Survey writes a candid weekly blog column that employees love and flock to the intranet to read.

Most companies know that employees work harder and better when executives keep them in the loop about company affairs and goals. But how to do this is often a challenge.

Not so for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The director of the USGS, Marcia McNutt, writes a weekly blog series for her employees that earned top honors in the Best Blog category of Ragan’s 2012 Employee Communications Awards.

McNutt’s blog series, “Marcia’s Monday Message,” is not your typical corporate communication. McNutt writes every blog post herself, which brings transparency and authenticity to her messages, and prevents the blog from undergoing a heavy review process. Messages go straight from McNutt to employees.

McNutt aims to be honest and candid in her posts, which many C-suite executives are often hesitant to do. She tackles controversial topics rather than stiff procedural ones, isn’t afraid to share her personal opinions, and quickly responds to comments. 

McNutt also announces official USGS information on her blog rather than via corporate memo. This helps prevent the spread of rumors, disrupts the way employees are used to receiving information, and encourages employees to check the blog regularly.

Employees receive McNutt’s posts via email every Monday at noon. The emails provide a link to the intranet where employees can read that week’s post and leave comments. McNutt consistently delivers her posts at the same time and in the same way every week. Employees now expect to receive posts from her every Monday, which has helped to significantly increase blog and intranet readership. 

McNutt’s posts are consistently the most-read posts on the intranet’s Leaders Blog, which sees 750 to 2,000 employee visitors (out of about 9,000) each month.

Want to get recognized for your hard work? Find out about Ragan and PR Daily’s award programs here:

View More Employee Communications Awards 2012 Winners.

Visit to learn more about awards opportunities.