Multilingual Business Communication

September 18, 2008

Corporate blogs: Coca-Cola Conversations and Dell’s Ideastorm

Filed under: marketing communication — meertaligebedrijfscommunicatie @ 4:30 pm

More and more companies are pushing the social media. Here are two very different corporate blogs from two very different consumer goods manufacturers that illustrate what the latest addition to the wide range of e-media can do in terms of organizational communication. One is called Coca-Cola Conversations. It’s a blog with a human face – Phil Mooney’s face: the man is said to have served as the historian/archivist for Coca-Cola for the last 30 years. The blog is meant to help consumers share information on topics ranging from Coke’s role in pop culture to brand history and collectibles. Interestingly, Mooney insists he wants “two-way dialogue” and so he says he looks forward to “chatting with the consumer”. But the chat turns out to be slightly less relaxed than you might have expected. The blog’s house rules include reviewing and possibly editing all comments before they go live as well as not posting any that are inappropriate or offensive. Of course, only comments that relate to Coca-Cola are posted.

Dell’s Ideastorm is a very different story. No Phil Mooney to say hello and tell us about the rules here. Instead, consumers are simply invited to post their wildest ideas for a new product or service – and to promote or demote the ideas that have been previously proposed by others. In one and a half year’s time, over 10,000 ideas have been proposed and 200 have been implemented – that’s a massive 2%. CEO Michael Dell remains modest, though: “Having conversations with customers is fundamentally not a new idea”, he says in a recent interview with The Economist. (Geert Jacobs)

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