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Effective Communication Strategies in theDigital Age –The Success Story of BASF Ho Chi Minh City, May 31- June 1, 2012 Ingrid Nienaber Senior Regional Manager Corporate Communications ASEAN
1 | Overview BASF2 | Communication for a B2B company3 | Traditional Media4 | Social Media 6/11/2012 INTERNAL FOR EXTERNAL USE 22
BASF – The Chemical CompanyWe create chemistry for a sustainable future Our chemicals are used in almost all industries We combine economic success, social responsibility and environmental protection. Sales 2011: €73.5 billion Employees ~111,000 Platzhalter für Bild Organized by Business and Functional Units both regionally and globally About 1,050 new patents filed in 2011 6 Verbund sites and about 385 production sites 3
BASF in Asia Pacific Customers from more than 15 countries More than 17,000 employees 130 production sites 9 R&D sites Sales* in 2011: Approximately €14.4 billion EBIT: €1.13 billion *By location of customer; Data as of December 2011 #Some sites are not shown due to scale 4
Sub region: ASEAN 8 wholly owned subsidiaries 11 joint ventures 20 production sites 22 sales offices Approximately 3,840 employees Sales* in 2011: Approximately €2.4 billion 1 R&D site *By location of customer; Data as of December 2011 #Some sites are not shown due to scale 5
The combination of everything we dobrings our brand to life ... Our promise: We are connected to deliver intelligent, sustainable solutions. And prove every day that we don„t just make chemicals: We create chemistry for a sustainable future.
…through all BASF organizations andcommunication channelsOPERATING/ FUNCTIONAL REGIONS/ COUNTRIESDIVISIONS Strategic Planning & Implementation of internal & external communication GROUPWIDE
… and in general BASF brand touchpoints e.g. brand architecturee.g. Trade Fairs/ (buildings, meeting rooms,Annual Meeting e.g. customer contacts lobbies) e.g. Marketing events
1 | Overview BASF 2 | Communication for a B2B company •Branding •Traditional Media • Social Media • When not to use the media6/11/2012 INTERNAL FOR EXTERNAL USE 15 15
Does a B2B company even need toengage with the media? Consumers don‟t buy our products!
Yes. Overall competitive positioning of BASF brand Demoralize the competition Market intelligence Prevent mistakes from appearing in the market Enhance share price And, yes, promote products … because we want to be the ones telling our story!
It’s not that simple: the right influencer forthe right purpose NGOs Academics Media Community leaders Online communities Regulators Industry associations
Mainstream media are (still) the principalinfluencer online A) B) C) D)
NGOs have a wide reach through theirown “media” online magazines (paper) magazines Twitter feeds research reports e-newsletters
Unaffiliated individual influencers existbut are rare “An online influencer can come from anywhere, but not everyone can be an online influencer.”
Bringing technical topics to mainstreamaudiences Community activities Feature interview Big investments Commentary Media tour VIP interviews
Making best use of trade media Time preview releases well before trade shows
1 | Overview BASF 2 | Communication for a B2B company •Branding •Traditional Media • Social Media • When not to use the media6/11/2012 INTERNAL FOR EXTERNAL USE 24 24
What are social media? Connect (Micro-)Blog Share Private & Public Worldwide Interact Opinion Blog Discussion Voting Campaigns
Change in communication because ofsocialisation through the Internet Conscious decision of BASF: 75% of social network users Interaction on social media platforms have visited a brands profile. to positively influence the image of BASF. 30% become a fan of a brand. 72% of those who joined a brand community have a better brand perception than before connect.BASFWave 5 – the Socialization of Brands, UM 2010 http://www.slideshare.net/tlinz8612/wave-5-the-socialisation-of-brands-report-5465006
BASF Strategy:Opportunities Through Social MediaWe add value as one company We innovate to make our customers more successful Strengthen brand and reputation as Open innovation through one company collaboration Create value through cooperation New ways of customer support Network for the Verbund Market researchWe drive sustainable solutions We form the best team Build trust through openness Cater to digital generations Engage in dialogue, influence and Expand networks, know-how impact transfer, problem solving Drive solutions to the public Support leadership culture
Overview: BASF Online Communications Internal External News channels “BASF today” Social Media Channels Online Business Network Corporate Blogs & Widgets connect.BASF Intranet Internet Consulting Training Governance Guidelines Monitoring
Hosting social media discussions(on our platform) We believe our own platform is the best place for a controversial discussion Best practices: Transparent use of authorized individual spokespeople Professional style Reference to published information Impartial “reporting” with our point of view Quick responses
Entering social media discussions(on managed platforms) Best practices: Refer to website Respond publicly if possible Respond quickly that you will respond later, even if you can‟t actually respond quickly
Entering social media discussions(on others’ platforms) Want to get to know a journalist / influencer? Commenting on her blog is a great way to do it!
Provoking social media discussions (onmanaged platforms) Best practices Keep topics relevant to the stakeholder – not just yourself Use Twitter for “arms-length” relationship building Start discussions with @replies Use #hashtags Retweet liberally Retweet clips to enhance media relations
Entering social media discussions (onothers’ platforms) In controversies: get your side of the story heard by the silent majority Best practices Consistent, approved core messages, but authorized spokespeople have some autonomy to implement them Address the issue, more than the comment
Creating social media discussions (onmanaged platforms) Best practices Keep the topic relevant to the audience Solid “infotainment” style content Explicitly invite discussion
Lessons Learned – How To Engage DOs DONTsEngage regularly with your audience, Don‟t open a social media channel setting goal for posting (e.g. once a and not use it day) Don‟t tell secrets – e.g. confidential orRespond quickly to posts (response proprietary information within 24 hours) Don‟t speak marketing language orAct in an authentic, honest and include too marketing-driven posts respectful way Don‟t post too much, especially do notConsider your target group, offer publish irrelevant posts interesting mixture of content Don‟t leave your activities unattendedShow personality, include “human” stories and interesting facts
1 | Overview BASF 2 | Communication for a B2B company •Branding •Traditional Media • Social Media • When not to use the media6/11/2012 INTERNAL FOR EXTERNAL USE 37 37
When not to use the media: working withinfluencers “Small group” communications: follow the continuum Hostile Cooperative stakeholders stakeholders Attend the Speak at the Sponsor Invite them Co- same same their to your organize conference conference event event an event
When not to use the media: working withinfluencers “Make friends before you need them” Prepare rich content Follow up opportunistically Leverage multiple platforms for initial introductions
When not to use the media: working withinfluencers Take a structured approach (it‟s not just schmoozing) Identify and track influencers by name; keep a mailing list Assign ownership of important relationships (“key account management”) Nurture the relationships: be generous with time and introductions
When not to use the media: don’t alwaysgo solo Industry issues are better handled by associations Support behind the scenes with information, resources, content, expertise Collaborate, but don‟t collude: abide by ethical principles
Building a brand like BASF is like creatingchemistry