Corporate blogging can be tricky sometimes. One on end you have a brand’s image, red tape and potentially legal department to consider; on the other you have an audience to connect to. How do you balance them out?
Understanding what the company or brand is, being consistent and scheduling your content will make your job a lot easier and the client happy.
Eat, Live, Breath The Company
Bloggers and copywriters are generally creative folk but there comes a point when acting on your own will become a problem. You have to consider the company you’re writing for and even take in to consideration how much of an impact your connection makes. By doing so you walk a very fine line between creatively charged blogger and soulless marketing drone. Your happiness and to an extent your creativeness depends on you working for a company or brand you love. If it’s nothing short of passion, you’ll be miserable because your work requires to eat, live and breath the brand.
You will be writing on everything great about the company or brand and that means no fudging up facts. Even thinking you can get away with a little white lie now and then is a clear indicator you’re losing faith in something you should be wholeheartedly standing by. Even worse, someone is going to find a hole and not only point it out but Tweet it.
Consumer electronics giant LG has launched its “Life’s Good” blog in Malaysia as part of its ongoing commitment to new media and online interaction with consumers.
Designed as a platform for users to provide feedback on products as well as to publicise events and run various promotions, LG is being touted as the first electronics manufacturer to launch a blog in the country.
I know LG in the UK has been keen to engage with bloggers, to the extent that it has run several “exclusive” product events to which tech bloggers were invited ahead of journalists from traditional media outlets. read more
In an age of blogging and tweeting, it’s hard to keep a secret.
Though Apple made it quite clear that its latest shareholders meeting was not to be live-blogged, it didn’t stop a couple of shareholders pushing out updates.
According to CNBC, Apple refused to allow journalists to carry in communications devices, thus making live reaction impossible. However, it did manage to run a live-blog of sorts based on the pings of “Cheddarmuff” and “idannyb”. read more
Twitter’s ongoing search for ways to monetise the service and generate an income may include charging corporate users for the privilege of sending out their tweets.
That’s according to co-founder Biz Stone, speaking recently to Marketing magazine. “We are noticing more companies using Twitter and individuals following them. We can identify ways to make this experience even more valuable and charge for commercial accounts,” he said.
A small sample of companies au fait with Twitter gave mixed feedback to the proposal. While LoveFilm said that it would depend on “price, demand and what else is around”, MD of We Are Social, Robin Grant, said that Twitter could charge for display ads or to access customer information for marketing purposes, while the VP of Dell, Bob Pearson, suggested that the company would look elsewhere if things became “complicated and costly”. read more
Hanging on the wall in a family friend’s home is a quilt bearing the name of our grandmothers. Surrounding their names are the names of men and women from their community. Funds were needed for a community project so a quilt raffle was developed. Each participant embroidered their names onto flour sacks in this once agricultural community now lost to the time and the metropolitan expansion of Marysville, Washington, USA. All the flour sack squares were sewn together to create a simple and colorful bed quilt, padded with a left over blanket and backed by a bed sheet.
The quilt was displayed in the community center of the now lost village while community members spent what little money they had on raffle tickets, knowing it was going for a worthy cause. Her grandmother won the raffle and the quilt comforted the beds and the spirits of their family’s sick and cold children for decades, finally finding its way to her wall in honor of the past and community spirit that once thrived in a place covered with housing subdivisions where no one knows their neighbors.
For the village of Sunnyside and others around the world, community quilts were their social media tools and resources. Neighbors would get together in between long days of planting, harvesting, and familial responsibilities to chat and share stories and news over pieces of fabric.
Local bars served the same purpose, along with food and drink, to create a family away from family where people could be “themselves” and share their thoughts with others, often encouraged by the spirits. read more
UK-based Social Media Portal (SMP), which tracks the global use of social networks, believes that it’s vital for companies to build their brands through blogging.
Blogs provide a place for two-way interaction between the organisation and consumers, and allow customers to provide valuable feedback on how the brand is doing.
“Blogs will continue to play an incredibly important role for brands and they should be looking not only to be managing their own blog, but rather becoming part of the blogging community and contributing,” she said cofounder and editor of the SMP, Rachel Hawkes.
Of course, a corporate blog has to be real if it’s to be taken seriously by customers and consumers. Blatant PR exercises are highly likely to damage a brand, no matter how good they might seem at the time.
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.”
The concept may not be that new, but a couple of weeks ago a colleague introduced me to Berocca’s Blogger Relief Pack. I signed up with one of my blogs, and yesterday received the pack.
While it’s not the complete answer to managing the stress of blogging, a tube of Berocca and a nice glass to drink it in is welcome, and the quirky stress toys are amusing enough.
I must make it clear that I’m not on any kind of commission here, though if the Blog Herald makes it onto the “featured blogs” section as a result, so much the better.
Berocca’s welcome letter says that “this is just the start of what we’ll be doing with bloggers and we have exciting plans for the future. If we’re doing something that’s cool, worth blogging about and relevant to you we’ll be in touch, but we promise we won’t spam you needlessly.”
Freebie toys and gadgets from companies are nothing new, and it’s fun to get a few perks for blogging now and again. Companies wanting to get their products in front of more niche influencers (rather than mainstream journalists and other media people) isn’t new either. I just hope that they keep it as real and as fresh as possible.
Oh, and any other companies who want to send me free food, drink, and iPhones gadgets, feel free!