A quick communications update

I just read a great post from over at The Engaging Brand on communications, specifically internal communications:-

Communication is a vital ingredient of a successful business and yet how much time do we spend on honing our skills? How much time do we spend understanding how effective communication is?

and

Often the top down is relatively ok, but this is in the art of telling. Telling does not naturely inspire, motivate, engage people. That level of commitment occurs when there value is put on all communication and a real dialogue occurs.

The ROI of a corporate blog

Over the last few years there has been lots of talk about how to measure the ROI of a corporate blog, I have written about it a fews times. At the end of the day ROI of a blog is hard to measure, unless you sell advertising which most corporate blogs do not.

A week or so ago Charlene Li from Forrester Research posted about research they have been doing to measure the ROI of corporate blogging, they have produced a series of papers and Excel models for clients.  Personally I would love to see but my personal budget does not allow.
According to the report the ROI falls in four main areas:-

  1. Increased brand visibility
  2. Savings on customer insight
  3. Reduced impact of negative user generated content (UGC)
  4. Increases sales efficiency

I am going to take a leap here and look at how this relates to John Roese’s new blog (our CTO).

Increased brand visibility

I have been subscribed to a Technorati & Google New feeds on Nortel for a while now, most of the content has been spammers selling VOIP or the Nortel vs Beer joke. The number of positive mentions of Nortel in the blogosphere is going up dramatically, example 1 and example 2, I think this one ticked off.

Savings on customer insight

This one is coming along even after only a couple of weeks. The comments have produced some interesting insights from customers and even allowed one of the product managers to reply directly. Again this measure looks like it is coming along well, the insights do need to be integrated back into Nortel’s products.

Reduced impact of negative user generated content (UGC)

A bit early to see on this measure. However John did address some concerns raised in the comments of his first post in his second so we are starting. Nortel has also released an ad on YouTube so I know the marketing teams are aware of UGC.  (Based on feedback John is also trying to get his posts to be shorter but the depth of the content makes this very hard.)

Increases sales efficiency

Again a bit early, although based on the comments and posts about the blog, in the blogosphere, both current and potentially future customers are reading the blog or being referred to read it. Therefore when these customers are engaged in the sales process it should be more efficient. To really see the network effect of linking you would need to find out how many customers are also reading the posts on other blogs about John’s blog, basically Metcalfe’s Law (thanks John for the reference).

Not a bad start after a couple of weeks and a few posts.

Superbowl ads, and social medai

I don’t get what is with the SuperBowl ads, maybe it is just because I am not in the US.  Yes occasionally there are great ads, remember 1984, but most seem to be a huge waste of money for already established brands. At US$2.5mil + for 30 seconds there are better ways of getting the publics’ attention, anyone heard of social media?

Michael Arrington points out 6 startups who can’t (or won’t) pay for their ads at the SuperBowl, so instead they are on YouTube. Which by the way is where the real ads will be soon as well.  To me a much better investment.
What with the insane money that is being paid to CEO’s, bonuses for top executives, and let’s not forget board members who get paid to turn up to a few meetings, add in the money being spent on traditional advertising there is a lot of money being spent on things that many consider does not producing a great ROI.

How about some of that money goes to better causes? Under unprivileged education, hiring the unemployed, climate change. Take your pick.  The attention gained in the long term from doing one of these things is far greater than a SuperBowl ad

Just a Monday morning thought/rant, I am not alone either.

Australian Blogging Conference postponed

Just read an email from Peter Black from Queensland University of Technology that they have had to postpone the Australian Blogging conference that was to take place this year.

Unfortunately due to a last minute and unexpected problem with sponsorship, QUT has decided to postpone the Australian Blogging Conference until later in the year. We were faced with the option of running the conference with a registration fee or postponing it, and we have chosen to stick with our original vision and ethos and hold the conference without a registration fee later in 2007.

Looks like August will be the new date, but assuming enough interest “there will be a pre-conference session on the afternoon of Thursday 8 March in Brisbane, with interstate bloggers using Skype to participate in the discussion.” Looking at my calendar I might be able to attend the pre-conference session.

Train issues in Melbourne

A couple of years ago, before our big move to Melbourne, I had to put up with the Sydney train system. I would spend 3 – 4 hours commuting in and out of work due to cancellations and delays.  Eventually one person had enough and called for action, we all refused to pay for a day, the government caved in and gave us all free travel for the day.

Over the last 6 months the Melbourne train system has gone through the same process as Sydney and is now as bad if not worse than Sydney was. My wife has been experiencing the pain this time as I get to drive into work :-).

Today I read James Farmer’s account of the poor service and found lots of comments from commuters who are just as pissed off.  There is now a call for 1st March to be a no payment day, have a look in the comments for Mark Porter.

To quote Justine in the comments “MARCH ONE should definitely be a day of action.”

Count me in, I will even catch the train that day just to have Connex lose money on my ticket :-). (Connex has been having troubles overseas as well.)