using public opinion to change your company via corporate blogs
I've recently been very impressed with the changes mainly domestic car makers have been making to their marketing stratedgies. The two largest US automotive groups both have taken some daring and painful strides towards reaching out to the general public in a transparent manner.
Most impresive in my opinion is the Ford Bold Moves online documentary campaign. There are roughly 30 episodes with more on the way that cut to the truth of Ford's misfortunes, freely admitting their mistakes and in other ways make efforts to describe how they plan to turn their company around. These video documentaries are incredibly well done and could stand up on its own in the cinema. The other part of this campaign involves a blog where consumers can comment on the films, cars, corporate affairs or environmental concerns. With the exception of offensive language and so forth, almost all comments are accepted, either good or bad.
The result is a blog that serves to inform the Ford upper management of what public perception is of their product. Some of the comments are actually picked out and answered by Ford- another amazing sign of a company making a step forward to listen and make their company more transparent, and ultimately more trustworthy for the consumer. I am sure this was their intent and if so, the campaign is an amazing sucess.
GM too now has a 'fastlane' blog in which new products, news, thouhts, and ideas are shared with the public. Bloggers can comment and again- both positive and negative reactions are posted showing a wide variety of opinion. What is clear is that most who blog on these sites actually care for these companies and want them to suceed. There is also a surprising amount of great ideas shared throughout. Who knows- perhaps armed with this knowledge, companies will actually listen.
Think of that- products that are driven by consumers...