Australian IT – Blogging the brand (Chris Jenkins, MARCH 14, 2006)

The interview I had with Chris Jenkins last week has turned into an article which is in today's Australian. The article is online.

Chris has given me a promotion, so thanks for that Chris:

Microsoft developer platform evangelism general manager and corporate blogger Frank Arrigo sums up the rationale: "If you are not there talking to your customer, someone else is going to be.

Just for the record, I am not a General Manager and to be honest, I don't want to be either. As it turns out, I am a humble manager, with currently 12 wonderful people reporting to me, within the Developer Platform & Evangelism Group and I report into the Director of the Group, Norbert Haehnel, who in turn reports to the Country General Manager (and recently appointed Vice President), Steve Vamos.

The article is about the pros and cons of corporate blogging, with a succint summary:

Why You Would

  • Start a conversation and control the message to an extent
  • Give customers a say, collect feedback
  • Appear responsive
  • Seem more personal than conventional statements

    Why You Wouldn't

  • Bad or off-message blogging could cause havoc
  • May bypass approval and vetting
  • Could appear try-hard or me-too
  • Takes time and resources
  • Needs an audience

  • The article mainly focuses on the Telstra experience, with their website, Now We Are Talking.

    And of course, we have the corporate blog alarm bell ringer and this time it's an ageny guy - David Holmes, managing director of media agency OneDigital. Turns out, David likes blogs, but believes they can cause havoc because they make it easy to bypass normal approval processes for public statements. (Kinda like this 🙂 )

    Yup, I hear that all the time from folks who are all about controlling the message. Looks like my copy of Naked Conversations is going to do the rounds.

    All in all, an ok article and Corporate Blogging continues to gets mainstream press coverage, and we can add The Australian's coverage to stories from The Bulletin over 12 months ago, Computerworld back in November, and most recently with Business Sunday.

    [ Currently Playing : Forever In Blue Jeans - Neil Diamond - (03:39) ]

    Comments (7)
    1. iainmcdonald says:

      your title is either king or potentate.  never just GM.  have a good one, mate.


    2. chris newlan says:


      Interesting comments in The Australian today. I posted the following comments on my newly established blog following today’s article, most of which are fairly obvious to bloggers but not the average Australian executive.

      Australiais seriously lagging when it comes to corporate blogging when compared to the US. That’s why the Telstra experience is so important. If Telstra can demonstrate tangible benefits from blogging other corporates will start to follow.

      Courageous executives are needed to lead a push towards more personalised communications both internally and externally. Executives need to empower their companies to be human which may mean hearing things they may not like to hear or admitting error. The flipside is you may capture invaluable feedback from your customers or your staff.

      Blogging is just another tool in the communications kitbag. It’s one of many – not the only -platforms that delivers a message to the right audience, particularly if you are aiming to get feedback on your company’s activities. While beneficial, blogging should not be seen in isolation.

      Press releases are rapidly disappearing as the primary means to get our message out there. Scripted messages serve their purpose but open dialogue and debate needs to be further encouraged and embraced by companies.

      Companies need to understand the risks and benefits of corporate blogging before diving into the blogosphere. Blogging policies need to be developed and formalised so staff are very clear about what’s acceptable and what’s not.

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