Archive for the ‘Blogage’ Category

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MoneyMakers: Blogging in Corporate America

March 6, 2008

Many Internet users have grasped onto blogging as a trend technology. Blogs are attractive to the less savvy internet user because there are many blogging websites that have blog layouts already created and ready to use. Blogs are not a new technology, however, and they have many more functions than the diary-style uses most people use them for everyday. Blogs have been vested in the newsmaking quadrants of media since 2000.

News about politics and current events such as the Dean Campaign in 2000 and the Terrorist Attacks of 911 in 2001 have led the forefront of blogs as well as “turned the tables” on how we read and respond to news. Now corporations in the public relations and marketing industries are grabbing the coattails of blogs and riding the tide to a better image and response to their businesses by learning what the consumer has to say about them. What characterizes the changes that blogs have changed the way that news is made? The one communications skill that has literally re-created the way that newsmakers make news and consumers respond to it is listening! For years, businesses have been using mass media tools to reach their audience enabling the path of communication to go one way from business to consumer. Ads in magazines, on television, and the internet were truly the only face that businesses were showing to people and hence that was the main focus of most companies. Unanswered email and contact pages were the only outlet for consumers to respond to companies and their product and service. Gillmor has suggested in our readings that various tools have filled the ambiguous gap of communication gap. Email, weblogs, short messages, syndication via Net-based tools such as RSS build enable conversations between businesses and consumers that email and contact links do not provide.

Industries are growing wiser in their trade through the update of their communication on the internet.There are two main reasons why Gillmor finds the use of blogs and RSS be an implication of more progressive relationships among industries and people who consumer. First, blogs are creating an avenue of personality for companies that may have otherwise been seen as threatening or self-serving. Gillmor says that “blogging is an opportunity” for industries like PR and Marketing, because it provides a the actual thoughts and opinions of staff rather than just corporate jargon and “business talk” that no one really understands. This is an incredible benefit for industries because it draws the audience into the people of the organization, not just their business suits. More importantly corporations have a greater opportunity to listen to their audience. How can a company better their image, or a business better their product without the comments and feedback of actual consumers?

Gillmor’s second point about this technology is that blogs provide real time commentary on different subjects that can be implemented from the corporate side or topics that the people feel are important that corporations may have overlooked. Great perspective is gained on what the customers needs, wants and are concerned about at any given time. Customer service can be increased and be more effective if staff are able to respond immediately to consumers and issues can be alleviated quicker, preventing them from occurring to other non-biased consumers. I find this to be an unseen gem for businesses of many industries because blogs can clearly look be like an extension of their marketing and image development for products and the company at large. Seems like open strategies like this can make one company look a lot more trust worthy than other that do not choose an open strategy that allows communication to occur and for the consumer to have a voice in their business. I’m pretty sure that these are the types of businesses that most consumers would rather give money to in exchange for a more honest and personable product than anything else. The exchange here has much profound results than for companies that don’t practice open source strategies of communication.

Gillmor mentioned that focus groups or interviews and surveys which were more traditional forms of getting feedback from an audience. These tactics are not only time consuming, but they cost more money to facilitate. Since blogs are on the internet and everyone has access to them, it is clear to see why companies should definitely choose this technology as their method of communicating with their audience.

jg

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