12 August 06 - Pointers from Charlene Li on measuring blog ROI and the impact of user-generated content
In a brief discussion with Charlene Li yesterday morning, I asked her about measuring corporate blog ROI and about the impact of user-generated media/content on business strategy.
On the topic of measuring corporate blog ROI, Charlene suggests that company metrics differ depending on the business purpose but that three main components are involved:
1. Benefit -How beneficial is the blog as a communications channel (marketing/advertising/public relations) whether used by customers or employees?
2. Cost -How much is the technology and time costing?
3. Risk -What risk is associated with the blog and how do youquantify and contain the risk?
When asking Charlene how she sees businesses changing as a result of user-generated media/content, she posed a striking question for businesses to consider:
Are you ready to respond to feedback?
User-generated media/content is customer feedback in the public arena.
Whether businesses choose to harness new technologies or not, the feedback exists. When put that way -- Charlene says -- it gets attention.
Refer to one of Charlene's previous blog posts -- "The Changing Media Business Model": http://blogs.forrester.com/charleneli/2006/05/index.html
Charlene's bio will be published on the Profile page shortly.
9 August 06 - Response from GM!
Not so long ago, in one of my posts, I mention asking GM's Bob Lutz a question on his blog via "comments" but the question remains unanswered and still hangs somewhere in the ether out there. Key Question for Business: Are you ready to respond to feedback?
The question: Does GM measure the blog ROI of their GM Fastlane and FYI blogs and if so, how do they go about doing so (in terms of the variables used)?
So I decided to attempt to find the answer by asking the question on GM's Corporate Responsibility Contact Page. Here's the response:
Customer Relationship Specialist: Jennifer Bastian
Dear Fiona Torrance
Thank you for contacting the General Motors Customer Assistance Center regarding your interest in corporate blogs. I appreciate your taking the time to email us regarding this matter.
I recommend that you write to our Public Relations Department at the address below. We apologize, but there is not direct e-mail address for that department.
GM Public Relations100 Renaissance CenterCommunicationsP.O. Box 100Detroit, MI 48265-1000
If you should need to contact us in the future, simply reply to this message or call our General Motors Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-222-1020. Customer Relationship Specialists are available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Eastern Time.
Again, thank you for contacting General Motors
The General Motors Consumer Support Team
Although this does not answer our question, it is the kind of response I've received in the past when using company contact pages. This may take a couple of weeks via snail mail, but I may receive some kind of an answer for you from GM yet!
We are venturing into PR territory here...it's time to setup a new category on my blog.
9 August 06 - The value in visiting blogs
There's so much fun to setting up a blog on a topic you're passionate about and sharing that with those who engage the blogosphere.
But I've discovered that it's just as exciting to expore the blogs of others, join in discussions, and "meet" other people.
Leo Bottary (http://www.bizblogreview.com/Profiles.html) introduced me to David Maister's blog (http://davidmaister.com/blog/) where I came into contact with someone named Shaula Evans -- http://stresslimitdesign.com
Shaula's so helpful in providing me with information that I felt I wanted to share the links she's given me with those who read my blog:
The New PR/Wiki CEO Blog List -- http://www.thenewpr.com/wiki/pmwiki.php?pagename=Resources.CEOBlogsList
The New PR/Wiki Corporate Blog List --http://www.thenewpr.com/wiki/pmwiki.php?pagename=Resources.CorporateBlogsList
Babson Women's Business Blog --
David Maister on "Adventures in Modern Marketing" --http://davidmaister.com/articles/2/97/
Start Cooking --
Thank you, Shaula!
26 July 06 - Leo Bottary — Senior Vice President, Corporate Practice Hill & Knowlton Tampa — offers thoughts on corporate blogs
I posted a comment on Richard Edelman's blog just the other day, where I offered some thoughts on corporate blogs:
Regarding corporate bloggers, I think it's similar in some ways to trying to convince some executives, even today, to participate in television news interviews. Assuming they have something to say, some have figured out that instead of taking a beating on a 90 second news segment, they can fill some of that time delivering their own message and actually communicating even much more than that. They're apprehensive because they don't trust the medium, and many never will. Of course, what it really looks like is they don't trust the viewers (their customers).
Blogging takes it a step further because not only are execs uncertain of the medium, but also they're scared to death about what all the messengers will say. As you well know, the conversation is taking place and will continue take place with or without them. The number of people influenced by those conversations is growing every day.
To add to that, the blogging medium is no different than any other in terms of evaluation criteria - participation should be based on individuals, company culture, business/communications objectives, etc. With rare exception, it's not a question of if you should join the conversation, it's how. For many executives, their interest in blogs tends to pique during times of crisis.
I recommend not waiting until you're in trouble to engage in the conversation.
Link to comment on Richard Edelman's blog:
Leo Bottary's blog:
26 July 06 - More male executive blogger presence
I've been observing corporate blogs for a while now and have noticed that there appears to be a greater male executive blogger presence then female.
Susan Underhill is the only female executive blogger at Hewlett Packard - http://h71028.www7.hp.com/enterprise/cache/104417-0-0-0-121.html. Of the 32 corporate blogs I studied - http://bizblogreview.blogspot.com/ - predominantly male executives have setup journals on the web.
Today, I've been searching to find female executives other than Susan Underhill or Charlene Li of Forrester Research - http://forrester.typepad.com/charleneli/ - to be profiled on Biz Blog Review, and what I've discovered is that there aren't that many in the blogosphere.
As a female business student, I value learning from women in key business positions, yet some are less forthcoming with guidance than men in similar positions. Susan Underhill was a tremendous help to me during my Independent Study.
There must be more females in management positions that could have company blogs and contribute through these to employee motivation, research, knowledge management, or marketing of their expertise/business.
Early this year, I evaluated some statistics of business students -- male and female -- using blogs/wikis for learning at USC. From my sample, what I discovered is that females overall use the tool more frequently than males, and as a means of reflection. The blog definitely spurs critical thinking.
An article published in the Wall Street Journal not so long ago (I forget the article title and issue) discussed the lower presence of females in executive positions. Yet certain studies showed that females in the classroom often -- contrary to former Harvard President Summers' view -- outperformed male counterparts in the math and science arena.
It's interesting to watch this presence in the blogosphere and to see if more female executive bloggers are going to emerge. What are the reasons for the lower numbers of executive female bloggers? And how does this impact the blogosphere if at all?
25 July 06 - Dell’s One2One blog - Blog Outreach!
July 2006 marks Dell's official corporate blog launch.
Actually, July 5 to be exact with blog post title: "XPS 700 BYO" where Mary Joseph of the XPS Product Team presents performance features of the 700 BYO in a vlog.
As vlogs are posted and comments stream in, Dell turns less into more saying, "Real People are Here and We're Listening".
Today's post is titled: "Dell Customer Advocates in the Blogosphere" where Dell tells how they "began monitoring blogs to help customers who needed help from Dell support"
- BLOG OUTREACH -
Dell says they have people responsible for blog outreach because:
"Finding and supporting customers in the blogosphere is a difficult and risky undertaking. It does, however, allow us to address many ongoing issues head on. And when the process results in resolution of a customer issue, we think it's clearly worth the effort."
Corporate blogs connect real people, create jobs, provide information and sell products/services. They generate criticism/feedback and are used for research. And Archives, such as One2One's, provide the public with an inside view to technology's role in corporate and organizational change showing customer and employee interaction.
24 July 06 - What S has to say on calculating executive blog ROI
S's Profile: http://www.writerproducer.com/
Here is S's take on calculating corporate blog ROI:
Very interesting website…
Have you thought about calculating the ROI on business blogs by focusing on executives who are in the midst of a reputation management issue?
For example, if you could find a CEO who was responding to a product recall or an accounting scandal, he would be actively trying to manage the publicity.
You could measure the number of times his blog gets picked up by the media against any stock price movements.
Anyway…just a thought.