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A blog can be many things to many people.  For the reader it can be a resource, an inspiration or a window to a world you wish you were a part of.  For the author it can be a way to share your thoughts and feelings, promote yourself or to simply to let off steam.

What about for a company?  What does a blog represent to them?

1) A way to connect directly with your audience.

Unlike with traditional media coverage, your message goes directly from your keyboard to your reader without any publicists or journalists getting in the way.  And equally important, you can read through comments to determine how your audience feels about a topic and how well you are connecting with them.  Tap that audience for some User Generated Content and you take your blogging to a whole new level.

Canucks.com incorporated user comments and tweets to remember our favourite on-ice moments of Markus Naslund. By simply asking their fans for their input, they were able to create a blog post that better captures the admiration and respect that Vancouver has for it’s one-time Captain.

2) A way to share the details that make you special.

In business there are a lot of things that happen on a day-to-day basis that are noteworthy and special, but that don’t warrant a major announcement or marketing campaign to promote them. I’m talking about everything from program updates that solve minor glitches to the company baseball team winning their league championships. A blog can be a great way to recognize minor accomplishments that may be of interest to your fans.
Check out this post on Strategic Shaving at the 1-800-Got-Junk blog to mark the end of Movember. Newsworthy? Not really. But special and blogworthy to be sure.

3) A way to stay top of mind.

Not every company is offering a product or service that someone needs to use on a daily or weekly basis. A blog is a great way to keep the conversation with your audience alive, even if they may not need you at that time.  Eventually they will be ready to take action and your company will be top of mind because of all the interesting and useful information you’ve been providing in your blog.
Grouse Mountain is gearing up for another ski season, but in the mean time they’ve used their blog to update us on the hibernation plans of their two bears. By using their blog to stay in touch with Vancouverites, they are able to bridge the gap between their summer hiking season and their winter skiing season.

You’ll notice that “A way to make more money” didn’t make my list.  Not that blogging isn’t an important business activity, just that in most cases it is part of the brand building aspect of your business. Use your company blog for what its good for – interaction, communication and providing consistency.  Embrace what blogs are good at. Don’t try to make it into something its not.

It’s a conversation. It’s a journey.  It’s an adventure.

Enjoy it.

As I said in my intro – we all blog for different reasons.  Why do you blog?

The BrandBuilder Pony

The BrandBuilder Pony

This past Follow Friday (#FF in the Twitterverse) I signed up to follow Olivier Blanchard, aka thebrandbuilder. Branding and Marketing are right up my alley and we had several following/followers in common so it seemed like a good move.  2 days in and I’m very confused, yet very intrigued by his tweets. Case in point – he just switched his photo from handsome creative-type guy with glasses to a pink my little pony.  It’s all part of his new #StepfordTBB campaign.

As far as I can tell – being a new follower and all – he used to call it like he saw it with the good, the bad and the ugly of Social Media.  He offers criticism and strong opinions on Social Media marketing in hopes of driving the medium forward.  Over at his blog The BrandBuilder Blog he says it is a “blog about building strong brands through passion, innovation, creativity and common sense.” Smartly written with just enough pop culture to make the strategy go down easy, this is an admittedly funnier version of what I imagine my blog will become.

What Olivier is now doing over at his Twitter Account is, starting this afternoon, nothing less that a complete 180.  Fed up with taking flack for his opinionated tweets he has changed his tune.  “It’s going to be so awesome being 100% positive all the time. I’ve been doing this all wrong, seeing snake oil where there wasn’t any. His posts are coming fast and furious tonight, but are made of rainbows and unicorns, definitely no snake oil or (snake) bite to them.  He changed his Twitter bio to read “I used to call out BS. Now, I just agree with everyone.”  Looking at his Twitter feed I can see I’m not the only one confused yet intrigued by his new attitude. He’s doing an admirable job of interacting with his followers, replying to their frantic questions while staying in character.

How long this #StepfordTBB will continue is hard to say.  But just a few hours in, Olivier has managed to grab my attention from my crowded Twitter feed, make me Google to find his blog, check out where he’s based (South Carolina – I could have sworn he was a Vancouverite based on our shared contacts!!) and finally locate his company site The BrandBuilder Marketing. If I’m any indication, this sounds like a solid evening of work. Bravo Olivier!

My Goal: Less Season 1 Pam, more Season 4 Pam.

My Goal: Less Season 1 Pam, more Season 4 Pam.

And here he is, staring in my latest post for my Social Media Class at BCIT.  My social media persona is opinionated  – more so that I am in real life – which lead to a minor meltdown earlier this week as I questioned if I should be sharing these opinions with the world wide web.  What if someone I know finds this blog?  What if someone I work with reads this blog? But I have opinions on marketing-communications and creative campaigns and this seems like a “safe” place to share those opinions.  I’m using it as a training ground so that I’ll be more willing and able to speak up when I’m called upon to offer my expert opinion in the workplace. Clients and coworkers expect me to guide them. They trust me.  I need to learn to trust myself.

After his work today, I would definitely trust Olivier to take my brand to the next level.  I’d love to see what he could come up with.

If you were to ever visit my desk at work you would find it covered in brightly coloured post it notes. I work in an industry that has yet to fully embrace the email. It seems to attract people who prefer face-to-face contact. There seems to be an endless stream of people stopping by my desk to make requests. Some people literally respond to my email with a message that says “I’m coming to see you” and then walk across the office to give a simple yes/no answer!

Me, I’m the super-organized, must-have-everything-in-writing, live-by-the-list type of person which means I use a lot of  post it notes to keep track of all those verbal requests. I like the neon ones. I have them in multiple sizes. There is also a great sense of satisfaction that comes from completing a task, crumpling up the post it and tossing it into the recycling bin under my desk.

And that is why I would be lost without my Post Its….and why I love this video.

Comic [Not By Rosey]

The Joys of Small Business (or) Comic - Not Comic Sans

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