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August 25, 2008

Several years later, the Washington Posts notices that blogs are being used for Marketing

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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. read more

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July 4, 2008

UK companies aren’t clear on new “fake blogging” laws

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British companies which pretend to blog as ordinary members of the public, or post multiple positive reviews as if from consumers, are now breaking UK law, yet many don’t know anything about the new legislation, according to Brands2Life.

Its director, Gareth Thomas, said that, “Most people don’t know about this law,” adding, “there is a misconception that these devices are clever, but they can backfire.”

The new Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations legislation came into effect at the end of May 2008.

Drew Benvie, director at Hotwire, said, “This law change affects everyone in PR. If customers have any presence online, it’s definitely their business to know about it.”

(Via PR Week)

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June 19, 2008

Free Web Technology Conference: LT Pact 2008 in Vegas

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, one of the world’s leaders in web hosting and server technology, is hosting a two day conference in Las Vegas, June 26-27, 2008, called the LT PACT Conference 2008. The two-day event is free, but registration is recommended.

As bloggers become more server savvy, challenging web hosts to keep up with their growing demands, this is a great opportunity to meet and learn from the industries’ leading experts on SEO, industry trends, virtualization trends and technology, site optimization, web hosting, cloud/grid hosting technology, online storage technology, intellectual property, email and mailing list management and business practices, site automation, business of blogging, security vulnerabilities and threats, backups, and more.

The list of whose who among the list of speakers and the event activities and seminars includes:

  • of and
  • Barry Abrahamson, the server guru of Automattic and
  • Andrew Skale, Attorney, Mintz-Levin and expert in patent, trademark, copyright litigation, and entertainment law
  • James Staten, Principal Analyst of IT Infrastructure and Operations at Forrester Research, a leading expert on x86 servers and infrastructure and trends
  • , Layered Technologies, and Woopra
  • Chris Samson, the Senior Hosting Technology Specialist from CSNA and Microsoft
  • Deven Kampenhout, Web Platform Architect Evangelist at Microsoft, Tim Johnson, Senior Manager of Channel Market Development, Global Marketing, at Seagate
  • Jonah Stein, blogger of It’s The ROI
  • Jimmy Guerrero, the Senior Product Marketing Manager in the Database Group of Sun Microsystems coordinating MySQL’s Web 2.0 and SaaS marketing programs, Dennis Dayman, Chief Privacy Officer of Eloqua, an expert in security, legal, privacy, and public relations issues
  • Barry Lynn, the Chairman and CEO of 3Tera, expert on data center innovations
  • Andy Schroepfer, the Founder and Hosting Visionary of Tier 1 Research, an expert in the hosting industry

And me, Lorelle VanFossen. I’ll be joining a panel discussion on the Business of Blogging with Matt Mullenweg and John Pozadzides on Thursday.

Woopra web analytics programJad Younan and Elie Khoury, the co-founders and lead developers of , a new and popular web analytics program currently in beta, will be flying in from Lebanon for the event, giving everyone a chance to meet these innovators.

There will also be a lot of fun and social interaction, and a lot of food. Among the fun is the LT PACT Poker Tournament hosted by Master of Ceremonies Robert W. Thompson II of NBC’s BravoTV Celebrity Poker Showdown with a total purse of USD $5,000.

Hope to see you there!

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June 3, 2008

Few financial planners blog, those who do find it a useful tool

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There have been plenty of surveys floating around looking at how blogging may be impacting various business sectors, and one of the latest looks at financial planners.

An ongoing study by Kahuna Content suggests that only a small proportion of US-based financial planners blog – the exact proportion isn’t given – but of those who do blog, four in five say that their blog is either somewhat effective or very effective in reaching the goal they set out for the blog.

Those goals? Half of those who blog say that they hope to establish themselves as an expert in their field as a direct result of their blogging activities. Around three in five said they were committed to to their blogging program, while around nine in ten said they were considering increasing the amount of time they devoted to their blog.

“Although our study of blogging financial planners isn’t quite complete and while these survey findings were taken from a small sample, we find these preliminary results quite interesting. Of course, we are still reserving judgment on what the findings mean,” said Richard Telofski, Principal Consultant at Kahuna Content, “but the fact that such a high percentage of respondents said that their blog was effective in reaching its goal is certainly something that piqued our curiosity.”

Demographics will be released upon completion of the survey.

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May 7, 2008

Nuts About Southwest Blog Relaunches

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Southwest Airlines have relaunched their blog, Nuts About Southwest, on their second birthday (sort of):

Thanks for joining us on our slightly belated birthday celebration as we roll out our exciting new Nuts About Southwest platform, or as we call it around here, our “blog 2.0 site.” Don’t worry, this is still the Southwest Airlines blog, and you haven’t landed in a time warp! Rest assured, everything you liked before is still here, but we have added a lot of new “stuff” that will give you more choices in information and even provide you the ability to personalize your Nuts experience.

The Nuts About Southwest blog is often referred to as a good example of how companies should embrace blogging. Via.

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March 4, 2008

Blogging slow in Ireland, down to poor broadband and Irish reserve

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Blogging may not be well-established in Ireland for two significant reasons. Firstly, the adoption of broadband is very low, and secondly, many in the Irish technology community are quite reserved.

Ireland is quite a well-developed technology hub in Europe, yet it can be quite difficult to arrange for a broadband Internet connection to the home. This is a major turn-off for anyone wanting to start a blog — after all, who wants to research and write a blog on dial-up?

A survey published by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development placed Ireland in 22nd place in terms of national broadband penetration, well below the US, Japan, and Scandinavian countries.

Tom Raftery also believes that a lot of members of the Irish tech community are reserved in nature. Executives and companies tend not to publish their own blogs to anywhere near the same degree as those in the US do.

(Via CNet News)

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February 8, 2008

Over half of B2B marketers don’t embrace corporate blogging

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According to the preliminary results of ongoing survey by Forrester, over half of B2B (business to business) marketers do not have a corporate blog, or are still figuring out their strategy.

One in three said that they were open to blogging but were just experimenting with the medium.

Five per cent said that they’d tried blogging but that it hadn’t worked out or wasn’t delivering the results they’d expected (I wonder what timescale they gave it before abandoning it?)

Encouragingly, though, 8% said that they actively promote blogging, while 7% said that it was an essential element of their marketing strategy.

Six months ago, another survey suggested that just five per cent of Internet marketers used blogging as a tool for achieving sales and marketing objectives.

Of course, with relatively small surveys, it’s going to depend partly on who’s being asked the questions. The Forrester survey remains open to participants until this Monday, 11th February.

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February 4, 2008

Business owners give five reasons they believe their blogs fail

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The Blog Squad surveyed a number of business professionals who had abandoned or lost interest in their blogs, to find out the key reasons they felt the blog had failed.

The top five reasons given were:

1. Not enough comments were left by visitors

2. Not enough subscribers

3. No increase in traffic to their main website

4. Difficult to come up with fresh new content for the blog every week

5. Couldn’t work out how to promote products and services via the blog

The Blog Squad put such “failure” down to a lack of training in four key business blogging areas: Content, Outreach, Design, and Action. Yes, that does spell out CODA.

Denise Wakeman said, “Many professionals simply don’t know how to use the features of their blogging platform. Furthermore, they often struggle with what to write about on a business blog. So their posts are infrequent, their traffic stagnant, and they don’t convert readers to clients.”

They reckon that over half of all business blogs are abandoned within three months, and unsurprisingly they reckon they can train businesspeople to establish a more effective blog through teleseminar training this month.

More fundamental, as far as I’m concerned, is that blogging just isn’t for everyone.

While I believe that most businesses today benefit from a web presence, I don’t believe that they all need to blog.

If you’ve nothing to say, and you’re developing better customer relationships and conversions using more traditional methods, then don’t take resources away from that simply because “blogging” is the new buzzword.

Bear in mind, too, that there are plenty of “experts” around who’ll claim to fix your blog in four weeks. It’s not (usually) that simple.

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January 28, 2008

Former probloggers looking for work?

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Have you ever needed to retreat back to the world of working after you’ve been a problogger? Fortunately I haven’t but I have a few friends who have lately. Luckily it’s not the end of the world. They have amazingly marketable skills and they just need a hand up. A new company called Standout Jobs is looking to help faciliate web 2.0 companies looking to fill job slots and revolutionize the recruiting process.

Here’s a peak into what Standout Jobs is all about:

Standout Jobs is built on the idea that companies need to provide candidates with a better online recruiting presence. Companies are losing out on great people because they don’t offer:

* Detailed and interesting information about what makes them tick
* An interactive, friendly experience
* A way for on-going relationships to form

Building relationships is the key to blogging and its the key to finding new work. So if you are a blogger looking for a gig with a company check out Standout Jobs, if I were looking I’d jump over there and check it out. It’s run by a long time friend of The Blog Herald so I’m excited to see what happens with it.

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December 11, 2007

Call In The Experts- Performancing Services

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Need to put your blog on the map? Trying to get the attention of important sites and search engines? Need a new look that will immediately set your site apart? Performancing is leveraging their team of experts to offer a group of services for large-scale clients that addresses every aspect of blog design, management and promotion.

read more

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