I’d say that the Washington Post has been living under a rock, since they are just now writing about how marketing is moving to the blogosphere in an article for today’s edition:
Bethesda’s Honest Tea launched its blog in late 2005 as a way to get close to customers. With a name like Honest Tea, chief executive Seth Goldman said, “we’re trying to be as open and disclose as much information as we can.” When the company announced that Coca-Cola would acquire a 40 percent interest in the brand, many of Honest Tea’s customers who opposed the agreement took their complaints to the blog.
“We gave a very loud voice to the people who said they weren’t happy about this decision,” Goldman said.
Goldman then took one of the most thoughtful, detailed customer criticisms and responded to each point. Even if readers still didn’t agree, “The blog at least helps people see how we think about it,” Goldman said.
All that said, many companies are just now beginning to utilize the power of the internet through blogs in order to have a real dialogue – or conversation – with their customers.
One Fortune 100 organization that I’ve recently been consulting with is still very reluctant to make the move to corporate blogging – or even to allow public blogging by its employees as a future new “face” of the corporation. Their fear? Losing control of their messaging and having employees blogging in public as known employees of their company.
Of course, pointing out to them that an estimated 200-300 of their HQ employees were already blogging scared them – not to mention the thousands of Facebook, MySpace, and LinkedIn accounts held by members of this large public corporation.
Let go the fear… And for the Washington Post.. what took you so long?