Biz Blog Profile Series: Fresh Perspectives - Cheskin

04/26/2005

Biz Blog Profile is a behind the scene look at how corporations, non profits and higher education institutions are using blogs to support their marketing goals.

Cheskin is an international strategic marketing research firm that embraced blogging before blogging was "cool." Way back in 2003, before Mark Edeleman and Bob Lutz  hit the CEO blog scene, Christopher Ireland and Darrel Rhea were blogging at Cheskin's blog Fresh Perspectives.

Fresh Prospectives is a muli author blog that reflects the views of 25 diverse staff members including designers, strategists, marketers, researchers and Jennifer Gray, who holds an especially intriguing title - VP of Experience. Cheskin's blog is a great example of how a large service marketing firm (from a traditionally conservative industry - marketing research) can leverage blogs. Sidebar: Thanks Jennifer for your help with this case!

Cheskin_logoBiz Blog Profile: Fresh Perspectives

About Cheskin

Cheskin is a consumer strategy firm with a history in marketing and design research. Our core belief is that authenticity, meaning and relevance inspire trust resulting in lasting customer relationships. This philosophy has been the basis of our work for many of the Fortune 500 companies, across a wide range of industries.

Why Cheskin Is Blogging via Fresh Perspectives

We first heard of blogging at the 2003 TED conference. It was new and we like new. We blog because it’s the most immediate way to show Cheskin is the sum of its parts – our employees. We put a ton of energy into building eclectic and seasoned teams to answer a variety of client needs. Blogging amplifies voices that typically are silent on a corporate website. It also sparks internal and external debate and thought – a cornerstone of the Cheskin culture.

How Blogs Fit Into Cheskin's Marketing Strategies

It’s a part of the strategy. Some of our bloggers have a loyal following, but blogs usually have a narrow target audience. It has, however, become a surprisingly effective way to market Cheskin. Blogs provide an unvarnished cultural immersion for candidates and clients.

Selling-in To Management

Our then-ceo, Christopher Ireland, liked the idea and challenged our then-marketing director, Denise Klarguist to make it happen. Calling on a few Cheskin friends, like Stuart Henshall, to get the ball rolling, we published our first blog within six weeks of first hearing about blogs.

How Cheskin is Marketing the Fresh Perspective Blog

We aren’t. It’s on our website. We highlight it on our front page.  We link to it in our email signature lines. We talk about it. Other than that, it’s become a very active ‘passive’ marketing strategy. We do very little to market our blog, but increasingly, our blog is marketing Cheskin.

Lessons Learned

The technology and design interface matter, so spend time on it.

Designate a blog champion or a blog-spotter. When you hear something good, make a habit of saying, ‘blog that’. Encourage the good bloggers – applaud them and send good blog ‘fodder’ their way.

Keep an eye on your blogs. A naively written blog or a fringe point of view can create problems. Don’t censor, but do pay attention.

Future Direction 

Podcasting and project-based blogs for project teams are what we’re looking into now.

Christopher Ireland, Cheskin Principal, On Blogging

It's refreshing to point my clients in the direction of our blogs for frank and up-to-date information on topics of interest. While blogs can occasionallly be off-mark or not exactly what I would say, it's great to see a group of people thinking, exploring and having the guts to share that with the outside world.

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Comments

I disagree with you

Posted by: Jen on May 3, 2005 7:42:01 PM

Good case indeed - we need more of them - please tell us about other companies having success using weblogs..;-9

All the best
Hans Henrik

Posted by: Hans Henrik Højberg Heming on May 8, 2005 12:19:06 AM

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