Corporations Embracing Social Media

by derek on October 9, 2008 · 24 comments

Over the last few months, I have been managing my way through a company merger and now find myself completely removed from the technical aspects of my job that I loved so much. During the merger, we were asked to document the positions that we would prefer in the new corporate structure.
With my passion lying on the technical side and having a strong desire to pursue blogging and new media, I had indicated a desire to focus on the consumer facing web presence of our company. What would be better than to secure a job that I love at a company that has been a great place to work?
Unfortunately, I received a “take it or leave it” offer that did not align with my desire and with bills to pay and a family to care for, I took it.
So, where is all of this going?
Over the last few weeks, I have noticed more and more corporations that are embracing blogging and new media to enhance their brand. These are the type of companies that I could see myself working for and being in that place where your passion is your work.
There is the Nuts About Southwest blog that takes you inside Southwest Airlines, which remains my favorite airline even if though they haven’t heard my plea to bring back the snack box. For anyone that is planning a trip to Las Vegas, give Southwest a try as I have never had a more fun and interesting flight than a Southwest flight to Vegas – on my last flight the entire flight played the dollar game, good stuff!
Just the other day, I learned of Molson in the Community. This blog serves as a place where the employees of Molson can share the work they do on behalf of Molson in the communities all across the country. As a fan of Molson beer, I find that an initiative such as this provides the consumer with a feeling of connection with the company, which will likely be remembered the next time you are standing at the grocery store deciding which beer to buy.
Imagine my surprise when I received an email from a representative at Harley-Davidson that had come across my blog and wanted to reach out to me. After exchanging a few emails, I will now receive updates from time to time on what’s going on at Harley-Davidson, including news, upcoming events and video content (such as this video with Marisa Miller). In addition, I am preparing a handful of questions to ask Harley-Davidson about their initiatives in the social media space – so if there is anything that you want to know, let me know.
As a customer of Comcast cable, I have found their use of twitter to be a brilliant move. Frank, who is also known as comcastcares, has helped me a handful of times when I had an HD cable box that was having problems. Usually within minutes, my problem was resolved and I was praising Comcast for their service.
The above examples are just a small sample of the corporations that are recognizing the importance of social media. By building their presence on the Interweb, these corporations are able to build a stronger bond with their customers. This is something that I had hoped my current employer would recognize and embrace.
In my quest to make work as good as an orgasm, I continue to keep my eyes open for a corporation that understands the importance of new media and is looking for people to share that passion.
Has your employer embraced social media?
If so, are they hiring? πŸ˜‰

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Ling@Uptake October 10, 2008 at 12:05 am

The SouthWest blog is a pretty good example of using blogging and social media to brand the company. Their recent Blog-o-spondent contest was a big hit, and I think you were there in Vegas when they announced the winner. My employer is a pretty big fan of social media (spends more time twittering than working…).

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derek October 12, 2008 at 8:25 pm

Yes, I was in Vegas when they were there doing that. They had a booth setup on the Expo floor and had some games going on with some pretty cool prize giveaways as well.

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JLow October 10, 2008 at 1:16 am

We’ve also started a corporate blog here
http://www.malaysiaairlinesblog.com/
I empathised with what you said, Derek, about wanting to stick with the work you are passionate about. While I am involved with the corp’s desire to venture into blogosphere, my role (thus far) is to craft responses to anything that’s been raised there, as well as anywhere else that mentions us and our products and services. I am also one of the contributors, though I haven’t written anything there lately.
This is a new venture from a corp comm’s perspective, and the folks there are treading carefully with this new channel of brand management…

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derek October 12, 2008 at 8:26 pm

That is really cool to see that you are involved with that and that they are making that initiative. I’ll be interested to see how that progresses for you as well as for the company.

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Tonia October 10, 2008 at 8:21 am

Hey Derek…thanks for taking a look at the Molson blog! I’m one of the contributors to the blog along with other Molson’ers across Canada.. Definitely exciting to be part of a company that embraces some of my passions…social media…and beer! Cheers.
Tonias last blog post..Billions Recycled through The Beer Store in Ontario

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derek October 12, 2008 at 8:27 pm

You’re welcome! No doubt that is exciting to combine the passion for social media and beer, I have to say I am jealous of that. πŸ™‚

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kouji@haiku poems examples October 10, 2008 at 8:25 am

a bit similar, related, but different, the way both american presidential nominees are using twitter, among other things, to reach out.
koujis last blog post..comment spam filter haiku

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derek October 12, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Absolutely, that plays into it as well. While not a corporation, politicians (as well as others) have learned of the importance to use these new mediums to connect with people.

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kouji@haiku poems examples October 14, 2008 at 3:21 am

true. and with sites like tinyurl, twitter’s become a relative low cost way of pushing video and articles out immediately to a large audience.
koujis last blog post..halloween haiku poem

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Nicole Price October 10, 2008 at 8:45 am

I ache for you. Unfortunately, I am not in a position to help nor recommend an alternative. I however wish you all the best and hope that you will soon find something more up your alley.

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derek October 12, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Nicole, your comment and support is much appreciated. πŸ™‚

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cory huff October 10, 2008 at 9:15 am

Couldn’t agree with you more, Derek. I’m forwarding this post to my boss at work. I’ve been trying to get my company to think social media since I got here.
cory huffs last blog post..What’s the Deal With Adoption?

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derek October 12, 2008 at 8:30 pm

Thanks. I too have talked to who had been our VP of IT prior to the merger about this space and had even provided accounts of how other companies in our industry were leveraging this space, yet there has been no interest internally. I’m still trying though…

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Nick@romandock dot com October 10, 2008 at 6:06 pm

Hmmm, maybe I can try and get the business I work for to think this way….
I would like to hear a bit more about this association with Harley Davidson though…
Nicks last blog post..The Bright Side Of The Current Economic Situation

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derek October 12, 2008 at 8:32 pm

Nick, it isn’t a real association in the sense that I have any real exclusive arrangement or anything. But the person that I was contacted by indicated that she would include me on any news, events, video releases, etc. from Harley-Davidson for me to share with the community.
I’d love for it become more, time will tell.

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Nick@romandock dot com October 13, 2008 at 3:40 pm

That sounds like a pretty cool deal…maybe they will give you some exclusive discounts and things like that as well over time! I’m looking forward to the new Harley news releases πŸ™‚ Are you going to make that a new category then or just group it under motorcycles? Perhaps you need the WP-dTree plugin now πŸ™‚
Nicks last blog post..The Bright Side Of The Current Economic Situation

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derek October 13, 2008 at 5:13 pm

For the time being, I will include anything in the “Motorcycle” category but if the information comes frequently enough it could warrant a separate category.

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John @ Maryland Real Estate October 11, 2008 at 1:41 pm

I think you are right on with your observation that companies are starting to embrace new forms of media / bloging. I have started to notice this myself. While this can be a double-edged sword I do think this is a positive and can open up a lot of potentials for fellow bloggers.
By the way good luck with your new position.
Johns last blog post..Baltimore Real Estate

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derek October 12, 2008 at 8:33 pm

It can be a double-edged sword and certain companies certainly need to be cautious. For instance, the company that I work for is regulated by certain governing bodies and that means we might not be able to do some things the way other companies would – although that doesn’t mean we need to ignore the space entirely either.

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Kevin@Great Wall of China Facts October 12, 2008 at 12:12 pm

It seems the corporations and even big public figures like Obama and McCain are using the interent heavily as well. Its a great way to connect to people and get some buzz going!

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derek October 12, 2008 at 8:34 pm

I agree completely, used wisely it is a great way to connect with people. Used improperly, it is a great way to have people turn against you.

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Steve@Free iPods October 13, 2008 at 3:29 pm

I’m not sure businesses over here in the UK have really braced the concept in any big way. We do tend to lag behind a bit.

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derek October 13, 2008 at 5:12 pm

Hmm, maybe I need to look at the UK market for job opportunities to get involved with work that I am passionate about. πŸ™‚

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