Marriott International CEO is Blogging

Posted on January 17, 2007

Bill MarriottThe Washington Post reports that 74-year-old Marriott International CEO J.W. Marriott Jr. (aka Bill Marriott) has started a blog called Marriott on the Move. Bill Marriott writes in his first post that blogs are "where the action is" if you want to talk to your customers and also hear back from them.
I'm venturing into uncharted territory as I launch this blog. A year ago, I didn't even know what a blog was -- until my Communications team began telling me about all the blog traffic on travel and tourism. Now I know this is where the action is if you want to talk to your customers directly -- and hear back from them. Soon we'll add an audio version of the blog. That's how I'm most comfortable: telling stories and listening.

I've checked out Jonathan Schwartz's blog at Sun Microsystems and "Randy's Journal" at Boeing. I've listened to Senator Barack Obama's blog podcasts. I know blogs will be a hot communications tool in the 2008 Presidential campaign.
Marriott also says, "Truth be told, I'm not very good with computers, although I couldn't do business in today's fast-paced economy without my cell phone, and my grandchildren have gotten me hooked on my iPod. I know our guests expect the very latest technology when they check-in to our hotel rooms and we're moving quickly to provide that."

Marriott's bound to have a readership even if his blog is boring -- anyone in the hotel industry would be a fool not to read it. But it sounds like Marriott plans to make his blog much more than a corporate press release. Marriott's spokeswoman Kathleen Matthews told the Washington Post that "This is going to be Bill Marriott's blog. It's not going to be the corporate blog. He's going to decide what he wants to say." In his first post Marriott says he will even blog about current events and controversial issues. That's a compelling promise. Bill Marriott may not be very good with computers but it sounds like he understands blogs.

A couple bloggers have better headlines for this story than ours. The headline from Write Ideas Marketing reads, "Blogging so easy - even a 75 year old CEO could do it." Communication Overtones notes Marriott's lengthy first post, "The first entry is pretty long, but I look forward to seeing how Marriott's blog evolves." We checked the word length of Marriott's first post with Microsoft Word and in it came it at 720 words. There's nothing wrong with long blog posts in our opinion.