Sep 06 - Corporate Blogs


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Sep 06 edition of Corporate ezine PR-e-Sense focusses on the emergence of social media like Blogs and how they could be used in Corporates for building their brands and communication internally and externally. This edition is integrated with Podcast.

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Sep 06 - Corporate Blogs

  1. 1. India’s first corporate PR ezine VOL 1 Issue 7 – September 06 Published by Prime Point Foundation (Supported by Public Relations Council of India and Chennai PR Club) PR-e-FACE: From the desk of Chief Editor “Blogs and podcasts are boons in the hands of Corporates“ What started as a personal diary by few million blogs across the world and is growing enthusiastic youngsters few at a speed of one blog every half-a-second. years back, has emerged today as a powerful Corporates need to recognise the role of communication tool as Blogs in the system . They can encourage ‘Blogs’. With further their employees and public to blog about improvement, blogs have their products and services. They need to advanced to ‘audio podcasts’ develop a level of ’tolerance’ for the and ‘video podcasts’. Many criticisms and convert them into of the corporates in opportunities of building brand. developing countries are yet to understand the potentiality of these tools. There are instances where the Corporates instead of addressing the genuine criticims At times, they are ignored as ‘casual properly, resort to ‘dubious’ methods to curb writings’. There are instances where even bloggers. In the long run, such approach the big Institutions were put to may lead to disaster. embarassment. Many times, these blogs are driving even the mainline print and visual A time has come that Corporates instead of media to pick up some stories, which ignoring the ‘blogs and podcasts’, take otherwise were ignored by them earlier. advantage of them The first ever National ‘Unconference’ on In this issue, we will be bringing out some blogs “BlogCamp 2006’ held recently at important aspects of how blogs can be used Chennai, brought together many bloggers by corporates as their marketing and brand across the country and abroad. Presently, building tool, including the legal aspects. blogs are getting focussed on subjects. It is K. Srinivasan estimated that there are more than 100 PR-e-CISE – Inside this ezine • • An exclusive interview with Mr Amit An exclusive Interview with Mr Agarwal, India’s No 1 professional Kiruba, the earliest and leading Blogger Blogger of India • • An exclusive Interview with Mr Na. A report on BlogCamp 2006 • Vijayashankar (Naavi) on Cyber Cricket legend Gavaskar’s views • laws affecting the blogs Views of experts • Podcast and many more
  2. 2. 2 PR-eXCLUSIVE – Blogs give human face to the Corporates Listen to the full interview through podcast at Mr Amit Agarwal (30), from Agra, is read what they are aware. Even if No 1 Blogger in India. His blog ‘Digital they read what they are aware, they Inspiration’ want to know your perspective. attracts around 1.25 million visitors every month. He quit the lucrative Q: What do you feel about the job of a Fortune 500 company to future of blogs? become a ‘professional blogger’ earning more money In an exclusive A: Blogs have come to stay. conversatio According to the CEO of Technorati, n with Ms the leading search engine for blogs, Veena Vinod they monitor more than 50 million of PR-e- blogs. New blog is born, every half a Sense, Mr second. Amit shares Recently, when his success the story and Government of also how Corporates can make use of India banned blogs for their business. (Listen to the blogs, even my grandfather showed full interview through podcast- link interest in knowing about blogs, after given above) Excerpts: reading newspapers. Q: How Corporates can use blogs Q: Can you cite some examples of to promote their products? corporate use of blogs? A: Microsoft, Dell, even media like A: Dell Company, through their blogs, New York Times have blogs. The show the video of their factory and biggest advantage is that the blogs products. Existing customers get the given human face to the company. It first hand information. Another US provides opportunity to the public to based software company has a Chief interact with the person, who has a Technological Evangelist who will voice in the company. Secondly, for monitor all the blogs and even promoting the products, it shunts the somebody flames the products, he path of traditional press releases. It takes up with the Management. This has a viral effect. enables the company to talk to the people to give the correct information. When Nokia introduced a new model, they requested bloggers to blog about Q: Do you recommend any Blog it. The traffic was so much that they Policy to the Corporates? had to shut down their servers twice. They saved huge money on A: Though the employees are Advertisement. blogging, the contents are owned by you. You may consult your legal Q: How to increase the traffic to experts. I would suggest that you the blogs? don’t censor the bloggers. Don’t make complicated procedures to pass the A: People are interested in unique contents through various levels, like content. They are not interested to press releases.
  3. 3. 3 PR-eSTIGE – Bloggers: beware and be aware of Cyber laws! Listen to the full interview through podcast at secrets of the company or post the Mr Na. Vijaya Shankar (popularly intellectual property information in known as Naavi) (52) is one of the public domain, he would be leading Cyber Law committing an offence under relevant Consultants in India. provisions. He is also the Founder • There is no ‘absolute freedom of of virtual Cyber Law College, He is the expression’ anywhere. Bloggers cannot author of the first book act outside the law of his country. on Cyber Law, way Even in USA, Patriot Act has imposed back in 1999. He is the certain restrictions. Co-Founder of Cyber Society of India. • Bloggers should be cautious about In an exclusive conversation with K. the ‘infringement’ of Intellectual Srinivasan of PR-e-Sense, Mr Naavi Property laws. Journalists using the speaks about the Cyber laws affecting contents for comments, anyone using the bloggers. (Listen to his entire for research purposes, personal use, interview in audio – link given above) educational purposes in class room, Excerpts: etc. would be considered as ‘fair use’ and would not be considered as • Anything in electronic space will ‘infringement’. In other cases, the have the same legal validity as any of permission of the owner of the content the written material (like books, either express or implied needs to be newspapers, etc). It is applicable to taken. blogs, discussion groups, websites, • Indian laws consider publishing, etc. distribution and transmission of • Publishing in the electronic space is obscene materials as punishable upto also like publishing a book or 5 years of imprisonment. According to newspaper. Regulations relating to Indian Penal Code, promotion and contents which are objectionable in the advertising of obscene materials is local laws are also applicable to also punishable. Blog owners should contents in internet space. It depends avoid even giving hyperlink to such on the law of the place where the obscene sites. publisher resides. • Bloggers before posting the • Yahoo website published certain message, should analyse the contents information, which was objected by to avoid violating (1) pornographic French Government. Finally, it was laws (2) copy right laws and (3) Trade resolved by removing the Secrets Act. objectionable content from the French • Prevent posting of anonymous language site. comments in the blogs. The author of • ‘Comments’ placed in the blogs is such contents should be identifiable, part of the publishing, for which the atleast the IP address. blog owner is responsible. His website • If any employee of an organisation, Email id while blogging, reveals the trade
  4. 4. 4 PR-eSTIGE – Never, ever let your PR dept. handle the blog! Listen to the full interview through podcast at Mr Kirubashankar (Kiruba) (32) is a found lot of alpha testers, who came well known and an out with feedback. By this, they could earliest blogger in develop best products. This India. He started his developed stronger affiliation of the career as a journalist users with the product. and presently he is • Corporates can easily start the working as Associate Director in Sulekha. blogs. Start a section in your own He has been mainly responsible for website for blog. You have readymade creating blog awareness in India and softwares, which could be installed in was behind the BlogCamp 2006 held less than a minute. Encourage your recently at Chennai. His blog employees to blog. Keep as much is quite popular less, rough and loosely held rules. Let amongst the bloggers globally. the CEO also blog. Accept the mistakes. Tell the customers how you In a conversation with K. Srinivasan of are correcting. That will enhance your PR-e-Sense, he shared many views image and credibility. about the corporate blogs. (Listen to • Corporate Blog can also be ‘two the entire interview in audio – link given above). Excerpts: edged knife’. If you don’t write properly, you may get negative image. • No one has count about bloggers in • Never ever let your PR department India. Though various figures are floating around, my estimate is around handle the blog. That is one of the 75 to 100 thousand blogs. biggest mistakes, many Corporates do. When PR department handles the blog, • Technorati claims to be monitoring most of the conversations get around 50 million blogs. They don’t corporatised. count Chinese blogs, Myspace blogs. • Let the CEO, Project Managers, My estimate of global blogs is around 100 million. Team Leaders and others blog. Encourage honest and frank talk. • Blog is a great tool for Corporates. • Many people blog in Google and They can update the customers. It is a two way channel. Microsoft. I hear that they don’t have many rules. • Macromedia through various user • WordPress is a good blogging tool groups got in touch with designing and developing community. They have in the ‘open source’. There are many many products. Each product such tools. “It is not that camera that manager started using blogs to get in matters; It is the camera man who touch with various users. In this, they matters” India Vision Group – The largest Indian youth group to discuss India Vision – around 1000 Indian youth as members – Meet many unsung heroes in the group.
  5. 5. 5 Many leading bloggers across the country, including Mr Amit Agarwal (a Chennai witnessed on 9th and 10th September 2006 a huge congregation of ‘bloggers’ from across India at Tidel professional blogger) participated. Park. The organisers called the event The participants had an interaction as ‘Unconference’. session through video, with Mr Robert Scoble from USA (picture above), The quick meaning which the World’s No 1 blogger (it was past participants understood was ‘order in midnight for him). World’s Cricket disorder’. In the concept of legend Mr Sunil Gavaskar was a ‘unconference’, the participants were surprise visitor to share how he the speakers and vice versa. Every enjoyed podcast. one got his share of participation, unlike traditional ‘conferences’. Another interesting feature was the A group of youngsters like Kiruba, entire programme was ‘live web cast’ and ‘live blogged’ by many participants. The entire auditorium was converted into Wi-Fi zone by Sify Sunil and many others started planning 100 days earlier, strategised and executed wonderfully to near and that could enable the bloggers to perfection. The entire execution convey the proceedings to the entire process was done through internet, world simultaneously. right from the registration, selection of topics, etc. They created website The participants left the auditorium under wiki. after two days of fun and discussions, Promotion of this event was done looking forward to another one. through blogs, which was later picked by mainline TV and print media.
  6. 6. 6 “I enjoy Podcasting. It is a fantastic tool” – Sunil Gavaskar, Cricket legend I used to give commentary on Cricket matches live. You had a lot of time. For ‘podcast’ you need to sum up the entire play within 7 or 8 minutes. I need to prepare a lot. Really, I enjoy Podcasting. It is a fantastic tool. I appeal to bloggers to talk more about games and sports other than cricket. That will help the growth of other games. I am doing podcast through Yahoo! I I plan to start a ‘blog’ for cricket soon. belong to the ‘transistor’ age. Now the young cricketers are highly tech savvy. PR –e- VIEW – Expert views Ms Krithika Shukla, Sr, Manger, Corporate Communication, Sify Limited “Blogging is a wonderful communication tool” Blogging is a wonderful to departmental stores. The Company communication tool. It has used the blog to promote their is a space for products. Corporates to talk what they do and invite Blogs for the ‘internal communication’ comments and informal enable employees interact with each interaction with other to develop a team spirit and customers for getting employee morale. It enables brand loyalty. interaction with the persons whom you may not know earlier. “Sunsilk Gang of Girls” blogs are excellent Sify’s “Fun Club’ blog helps the example of external employees to exchange lot of ideas communication. Anybody part of the and to know each other well. blog have more ‘recall’, when they go Have you joined the PR discussion groups? Image Management Group – Second largest yahoo group on PR with 1300 plus global members. Click here PRpoint Group - The largest Indian group for PR/Corpcom /academic professionals with 600 plus members. Click here
  7. 7. 7 PR –e- VIEW – Expert views Ms Nidhi Dewan, Manager, Corp Communication, Webchutney “Remember two important aspects before launching corporate blogs” Blogs can help the Corporates to employees. You should be able to improve the corporate image. Before manage the situation readily and they launch blogging, they have to answer back comprehensively. understand two things. Google has number of blogs. They are First, ‘content’ is the most important simple and one. You should decide what you want efficient. to communicate and whether the They tell customers would be interested to the listen what you say. Happy customers consumers may like to interact with you. This is about their possible, only when you have good products in products. a friendly way. Another search engine Ask dot com, in their blog talks about Secondly, you should be prepared to development and how they innovate. face ‘backlash’ due to comments and They handle the consumers’ problem criticisms from customers and in a simple manner. Michael Driehorst,Media Relations Manager, The Lauerer Markin Group Inc. Maumee, USA Blog: “Blogs provide feedback and insight to the market” From a business perspective, blogs views on industry trends and even and other social news – rather through media relations media allow and advertising vehicles. companies to enhance People are already talking about relationships with companies with their friends, families customers while and co-workers. By blogging and giving the allowing comments, companies can company a participate in those conversations. “personality.” While there will be negative With price so often a dominant factor comments, there will also be great in buying decisions, the more feedback and insight to the companies can connect with marketplace. customers, the less price becomes a factor. Companies can connect by Participating in those conversations asking customers for comments on will also give the company a products, market issues and other personality, rather than being viewed topics. They can communicate their as a cold, hard corporation. This issue of PR-e-Sense is sponsored by Cyber Society of India
  8. 8. 8 PR eTTY - Relax A mechanic The mechanic straightened up, wiped was removing his hands on a rag and asked, quot;So a cylinder Doc, look at this engine. I open its head from the heart, take the valves out, repair any motor of a damage, and then put them back in, Harley and when I finish, it works just like Davidson new. So how come I get such a small motorcycle, salary and you get the really big when he spotted a well-known heart bucks, when you and I are doing surgeon in his shop. basically the same work?quot; The surgeon was there waiting for the The surgeon paused, smiled and service manager to come and take a leaned over, and whispered to the look at his bike when the mechanic mechanic...quot;Try doing it with the shouted across the garage, quot;Hey Doc, engine running.quot; can I ask you a question?quot; Moral: Evaluate a person based on the The surgeon, a bit surprised, walked quality of skills at challenging times, over to where the mechanic was and not based on peripherals. working on the motorcycle. (Source: unknown) PResentors of PReSENSE Chief Editor and Publisher: Podcast team K. Srinivasan (Prime Point) Uma Gopalakrishnan (O&M PR) M M Selva Kumar (ePagemaker) Editor: P A Narrendiran (Blue Lotus PR) Editorial Advisors Associate Editor: M B Jayaram, (Chairman, National S. Sakthi Prasanna (Hanmer & Council, PRCI) Partners PR) T N Ashok (Alstom) Arun Arora (GMR-DIAL) Editorial Board: Uma Bhushan (SIMSR) ) Veena Vinod (SGS Technologies) R. Jai Krishna (Senior Journalist) Satish N (Anna University) Feedback and contributions to: All the earlier issues may be downloaded from