A corporate blogging strategy is now essential for larger companies.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that a company should hire a full time blogger. What it does mean is that a company should monitor what is being said about them and know how to relate to the blogging community.
This is a tale of two telecoms and their corporate blogging strategies. I blogged earlier about how AT&T found out the hard way that the blogosphere bites back.
A better corporate blogging strategy is the Sprint Ambassador program.
A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail invitation from Sprint saying they’d read my blog and wanted me to become a Sprint Ambassador. I was a bit skeptical at first. As other bloggers have said, the e-mail looked and felt like a scam. But after some research and advice, I signed up for the program. About a week ago, I received a FedEx box with a free Samsung A920 phone loaded with 6 months of free Sprint PCS service.
Bloggers are very open about the minutiae of the their lives including the cool new phone they are using for free. The Ambassador program is a smart move for Sprint since bloggers will talk about it. Sprint is bypassing the media gatekeepers and influencing word of mouth directly with the target audiences. They will have to accept the good, bad, and the ugly comments about their phones and service. (And also accept dissection of their marketing strategy from marketing bloggers!) An absolute pre-requisite if you’re going to implement a corporate blogging strategy like this is to have an amazing product. You’ll be eaten alive if it’s not.
And it is a neat phone. It does everything you could possibly think of….camera, camcorder, email, text messages, internet, media, etc.
There are troubles though….
I’ve been given a Kansas City phone number which is a bit of a problem since I’m sitting in Kentucky. It’s unfair to expect my friends and business associates to spring for a long distance call to Kansas City unless they have an unlimited long distance plan. If they do this to all Ambassadors, it will severely limit the buzz.
I’m even going to go Scoble on everyone. The number is 816-352-2009. Call between now and August 2006 or you won’t get through.