Blogging Takes Word Of Mouth To New Level

Discussion
Aug 16, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson


It used to be that if a consumer was not happy with a product they bought or
the service they received at a retailer, restaurant or other business, they
could share their lack of satisfaction with their circle of friends.


Now they can “bad mouth” a product or company with total strangers thanks to
the magic of online journals known as blogs.


The exact number of consumers blogging is not known, but it has been estimated
that up to three million Americans have their own blogs and 40 percent of those
make entries on a weekly basis. Blogging appears to be an equal-opportunity
means of expression with studies suggesting an even split between women and
men writing these journals for public consumption.


While the number of consumers writing blogs is growing, an even larger number
of consumers are said to read blogs. Ten percent of the online population has
been the estimate given for those reading blogs.


The growing popularity of blogs has not been lost on the mainstream media or
businesses. The so-called Baghdad Blogger who goes by the handle of ‘Salam Pax’
gained global notoriety by providing many around the world with gripping descriptions
of what was taking place on the ground when the American and British forces
invaded Iraq.


A number of companies including Daimler Chrysler and Microsoft are experimenting
with blogs of their own. Dr Pepper/7 Up created a blog written by a “cow” when
it rolled out its Raging Cow flavored-milk drink.


Moderator’s Comment: What do you see as the opportunities/dangers
of companies creating their own blogs? What must a company do to create a successful
blog?


We’ve seen a number of “best practices” recommended by
various experts on what companies should do to be successful.


The one thing we would recommend, although we have plenty
of others, is that if you are going to open your own blog, forget the corporate
pr-speak. In sales, we were always taught to never ask the question if we weren’t
prepared to deal with a “no.” Company blogs may leave you exposed to more “no’s”
than you know.
George Anderson – Moderator

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