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On The Pod with Cam & Mick


The wild and crazy Aussies from G'Day posted the On The Pod podcast we did a few weeks back. Cameron ReillyGday_logo and Mick Stanic are 2 smart dudes who know their way around the virtual mike. It was a fun, some times silly chat. But according to the diva of podcasting Nicole Simon, Useful Sounds  - This chick kicked your ass ;))  No, great show, and you should definitely get her back online for a marketing show.  Catch Nicole's On The Pod.

By the way, Cam and Mick recently launch the Podcast Network. Check it out when you've a sec and download a few programs. More podcasting..."The Jeremy" ambushed Tris Hussey, Paul Chaney, Lee Wilkens and Eric Rice for his new podcast the BizBlog Show. Realized his guest skewed male ambushed moi.

Glad to see that more divas are catching the podcast wave. Amy Graham at Contentious has running list of women in podcastng -  count as of today is at 61.

Biz Blog Profile Series: RESCUE! BugBlog


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.
Biz Blog Profile: RESCUE! BugBlog

Stephanie Cates, Director of Marketing and Communications, is the author and originator of a most unique blog about bugs. Yup, you read it right…bugs. But for Stephanie's company, Sterling International, manufacturer of pest control products, a bug blog made perfect sense. Posts integrate tips about pest control and interesting bug tidbits with insights into company culture and the right dash of Stephanie's personality. 

About Sterling International

Sterling International is a privately-owned company which manufactures and markets RESCUE! Pest Control Products, a small line of non-pesticide, environmentally responsible traps for yellowjackets, flies and Japanese beetles. Products are sold at major retailers such as Home Depot, Lowe's, Wal-Mart, Ace Hardware and True Value Hardware.

Why Sterling International is Blogging

The main reason is to create a sense of community around our company and our products.

How Blogs Fit Into Sterling International's Marketing Strategy

We have long believed in advertising directly to the end user of our product, rather than focusing on the retail trade. Even when our products were new and distribution was not widespread, we wanted the consumer to know us and put pressure on the retailers by asking them to carry our product.

Blogs allow us to continue our dialogue directly with the consumer on a more personal level than advertising could ever accomplish.

Blogging also fits with our branding tagline: "Making pest control smarter." The more information we provide to the reader that is related to our pest control niche, the more it reinforces 'smarter'.

Selling-in to Management

My boss was not entirely up to speed on blogs, especially blogs for business, so I first needed to explain the concept to him. I talked about how blogs are becoming more credible as sources of news and information, and that many bloggers and readers of blogs are the 'early adopters' and  'influentials' that we want to reach.

I then went through a list of some outcomes that we would seek to accomplish from having a blog:

-Creating a sense of community
-Helping readers see us as a company of 'real' people
-Keeping our web site fresh and dynamic
-Solidifying our position as leaders in our field
-Achieving higher search engine rankings
-Staying out in front of any news about us
-Helping launch new products

Listing some possible blog topics helped him to see how it would be used. The fact that a trusted, long-time employee (me!) would be doing the blogging definitely helped allay fears about maintaining appropriateness in the blog and keeping sensitive company information private.

Finally, to the question of whether to allow comments to be posted, I helped him see that it shows that we stand behind our products.

Sterling International is Marketing RESCUE! BugBlog

We have links to the blog on our home page and all over the interior pages of our web site. In the interest of sharing helpful information, we are linking prolifically to web sites and other blogs. We posted our blog to Ping-o-matic. In time, we will also spend time commenting on other blogs to increase awareness of ours.

Lessons Learned

Building traffic, and therefore gaining tangible results from the blog, takes time. Content that comes across as promotional, rather than consumer-oriented, is not well-received.

Future Direction

We hope to gain enough of a following on our blog to get quality customer feedback and, when we have a new product to introduce, create 'buzz' around it before the official launch.

Stephanie Cates on Blogs

One of the things we've learned in talking to our customers over the years is that people are fascinated with bugs, and therefore they like to talk about them. They have many questions, such as how the weather will affect them this year. They usually have a personal story relating to getting stung, or discovering a nest on their property, or having a family gathering ruined by a bug invasion, and so there is an emotional component to their curiosity.

So it was easy to realize when considering a corporate blog that we have plenty of content for a blog in which people would take interest, and that would not appear too promotional. It's all about getting closer to our customers and gaining their trust.

I'm excited to have a new tool in my marketing toolbox, and blogging is a tool that so far I have found easy to implement and enjoyable to use. It's a great fit for us.

Unblocking Blogger's Block


Michael Pollock, Small Business Branding , offers an interesting idea of how to unlock bloggers block.
1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don’t search around and look for the “coolest” book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.

Okay - here's mine from "Moments of Truth" by Jan Carlzon. All I can say is - Wow!

We had obviously failed to communicate to our pilots that we wanted to take the company in an entirely new direction away from the production-oriented mentality.

Lots of great ways to go with that one. The first that comes to mind is an internal marketing strategy is in order.

One of the great things about the blogosphere is the people who generously share their expertise. The diva of internal marketing - Sybil Stershic, Quality Service Marketing, is running a series about Internal Marketing Fundamentals.

  • Respect - give people the tools to do their jobs
  • Recognition - catch them doing something right
  • Reinforcement - continually support a customer-focused culture.

Lean from the experts! Check out Sybil's posts.

Ventura County Star Gets Blogging


The Ventura Country Star, a CA newspaper is setting a new standard in citizen journalism. Readers are invited to help with editorial direction and to join in on the conversation in a most public way -  by blogging for the paper. Access to blogs are not 3 or 2 or even 1 drill-down.  Nope, you can find them right on the home page. Oh, and there is a Weekend Show Podcast. How cool is that!

There are political blogs like PJ Link. Personal diaires like The Dancing Fool. Youth blogs like teen Meow Victoria/that even includes a link to her technorati profile. And a dentist blogs and a poet blogs too.

Had to share this great line from Meow Victoria - "Somes I write better posts on different days, so you should, like read them all."  Yes, young diva...don't we all!

Heard it from: NevOn

NewPRWiki - Resources.CEOBlogsList


Curious about which CEOs are blogging? Check out NewPRWiki - Resources. It's the most comprehensive list I've come across.
Heard it from lexBlog via Micro Persuasion

Friday Fun: Bloggers On The Red Carpet


Walkoffamemainstarwhite2The next red carpet interview may be Joan dishin' with bloggers! Diva dahlings better start looking for designers and making plans for hunky body guards to accompany you when you put on those gorgeous Harry Winston 'jools' .

Have you come across the WeblogProject? It's a film that will be made about blogs. Produced, directed and fund raised (wonder if they'll accept $ from non bloggers) by bloggers. Starring bloggers. Distributed Free via P2P. [Sounds pretty cool.]

We have no other agenda but the one of helping bloggers tell everyone else what this media revolution is all about. [Sounds pretty cool]

The vision is to identify the top bloggers in the whole wide world. Then the blogosphere morphs into the Academy and bloggers cast their votes for the top 20. [Sounds pretty cool.]

Curious to find out who has been nominated for the Top Twenty Bloggers In The Whole Wide World?  Well, I'm betting an appletini that you can guess at least half of the 40 on the list thus far. In all fairness, there is an international slant and there are 2 women -  Dina Mehta and Xeni.  Well, perhaps 3 I can't tell if Novocaine is written by a male or female. [Sounds NOT cool.]

Certainly there are more than 2 women (or even 3!) in the entire blogopshere that warrent Top Twenty Blogger In The Whole Wide World status.  More horrid than being on Joan's worst dressed list would be if the world assumed the Top Twenty Bloggers In The Whole Wide World were all men. Divas the nominations continue untl April 15th. I challenge you to even out the slate!

Learning Thru Peer Interviews


Diva's, don't know about you, but when I tossed the tassGraduation_cap_1el on my graduation cap thoughts were school was over. Remember this childhood tune? No more classes. No more books No more teachers dirty looks.

On to the "real world!" Had not a clue that I was entering the "real school" of life-long learning.  About myself and what I enjoy sure. Also about keeping current with the newest strategies and trends in my profession. And that it would be an exciting part of my life!

Did you know that peer-to-peer interaction is one of the most powerful ways adults learn? We attend workshops, web seminars and now listen to podcasts. We're hungry for ideas that engage us and nudge our thinking in different directions. Authentic learning fuels our creativity and our enhances our imaginations.

We learn through the experiences and stories of our peers. Interviews are a wonderful format for this type of learning. By understanding how others handled situations we gain ideas and confidence that we can do it too. There are several talented bloggers who are providing valuable learning experiences for us marketers via their interview series.

I was honored this week to be part of Yvonne DiVita's, Lip-sticking, smart interviews. Yvonne's interviews have a sense of friends chatting over a cup of coffee or perhaps since today is St. Paddy's Day a Blarney Stone Sour might be in order! However, don't be fooled by the gracious tone, Yvonne's questions cut to the chase and provide important insights and often a few surprises about her guests too.

Jeffrey Hill, Voice of the Blog, has an wonderful series of interviews with small business owners. His blog is design to support his MBA dissertation on the attitudes and perceptions of small business bloggers with regard to the effectiveness of blogs as a marketing medium.

Of course, Anita Campbell's, Small Business Trends, interviews with small business owners has become a classic in the blogosphere.

Diva and divos I encourage you to tap into some of these excellent resources where you can stretch your thinking and perhaps borrow an idea or two that will take your brand or your business to the next level.

Biz Blog Profile Series: Dr. Lasky's Blog, Indium Corporation


Welcome to the first of a continuing series of Biz Blog Profiles! A behind the scene look at how corporations, non profits and higher education institutions are using blogs to support their marketing goals.

Indiumbuilding_1Biz Blog Profile: Dr. Lasky Blog, Indium Corporation

Rick Short, Director Corporate Communications, Indium Corporation, is the visionary behind Dr. Lasky's Blog.  What makes this case especially fun for me, is Rick is a "graduate" of AMA's NYC workshop Blogs: Marketing Beyond the Website. Thanks Rick for your kindess and generosity in sharing the story of very unique blog strategy.

The Indium Corporation
is a B2B, global electronics assembly materials manufacturer with facilities in China, England, Singapore, and the USA.

Why Indium Company is Blogging

Indium Company is blogging to facilitate the direct connection between its technical customers and its key technical staff.

Supplying materials to the world’s leading-edge electronics assembly manufacturers is demanding and fraught with tough competition. If a supplier is not reading vague and infrequent cues from the marketplace critical product development time may be misdirected and wasted.

 How Blogs Fit Into Indium’s Marketing Strategy

Indium’s initial blog, thoughts, observations, comments, and questions from one of their renowned technologists, Dr. Ronald C. Lasky, fits into the company’s overall Marcom strategy by filling a gap – it encourages and enables customers who are using the internet to read Dr. Lasky’s blog and to provide their thoughts and reactions.  It prompts these reactions right at the moment when the customer is in a “search” mode, and when they have simple e-mail capability right at their fingertips. Sidebar:The blog is prominently linked from the home page on the company website.

 According to Dr. Lasky, “Blogging is a great method of staying in touch with our customers.  It offers a quick way to share and record observations and ideas, and to solicit feedback.  It lets our customers learn of, and weigh in on, important issues.”

 Selling-in to Management

Indium Corporation sold the concept of blogging to its management by:

1. Having a management-level person responsible for monitoring new developments in communications

2. Assigning trusted individuals with the blogging responsibility

3. Focusing the blog topics tightly

 Key Challenges

The key challenges that Indium Corporation has encountered include committing to the time required to manage a meaty and meaningful blog and having the patience to allow the tool to mature naturally, without forcing it on the market too heavily.


Indium’s expectations are that blogging (viewed by this company as merely a recombination of existing journalism and communications tools) can be a technique to reach a unique segment of the customer base.

 Lessons Learned

At this time, the main lesson learned is that the customers are out there – reviewing the website – and that they are willing to engage.  During the shakedown portion of the implementation, while the blog was live but not yet promoted, several people found the blog, read it, and began discussing their needs with Dr. Lasky. Blogging serves this market niche quite well. 

Future  Direction

As for the future, a second blog, focused on talking to their customers regarding Marcom topics was recently launched, and a third, focused on the China market is in the works.

 Rick Short On Biz Blogging

As a B2B Marketer, I don’t want to over-or under-emphasize the tool. My goal is to experiment with blogging as a part of a healthy Marcom mix.

Since my Marcom department’s mission is to “Increase corporate revenues, profits, and/or image via …”, I am interested in blogging for two reasons:

1. It is merely a re-mix of existing techniques and capabilities (nothing new under the sun – and not a cure-all). 

2. There is great power in tapping into “comfortable” tools when they are freshened up a bit (familiar, little to invent, understood by customers, etc.).

I was thrilled with the opportunity to be “first to market” with this tool in my space, and hope that Indium Corporation reaps the benefits of that.  One of my Marcom philosophies is to talk 20% of the time and listen the other 80%.  If we do this right our customers might seize upon this tool as another way to speak directly to people within our company.

Check out Rick Short’s Blog. We’ll save that story for another day!


Announcing:The Biz Blog Profile Series


Corporations, non profits and higher education institutes are beginning to incorporate blogs into their marketing strategies. I'm intrigued by the stories behind these blogs. Why are organizations blogging? What did it take to sell-in to management? What are the lessons learned that can be passed along to other marketers?

Drum roll...I'm excited to announce that Tuesdays will be Biz Blog Profile Series day. Marketers, who are responsible for their companies entree into using blogs as marketing/business strategies, have generously agreed to share their experiences with us.

To launch Biz Blog Profiles, tomorrow on the Ides of March, Rick Short, Communication Director of Indium will take us behind the scenes of a very unique blog - Dr. Lasky's Blog, the first blog to support the electronics assembly industry.

Blogs are still a brave, new world and in keeping with the mantra of transparency let's continue to learn together!

Update: October 2005  Biz Blog Profile Series has added Arts Organization Blogs

Blogging for arts groups is a natural fit. At its heart, art is about an emotional connection between artist and audience. At their best, blogs are about creating a connection between author and reader. Both strive to open the doors of self just a little wider and provide an experience that makes a difference. Be that difference a new awakening of the soul or a new understanding of a company.

The Industry of Blogs


Have blogs developed into an industry? I think  so. For those nay sayers, let's define what is an industry. From Wikipedia:  An industry is generally any grouping of businesses that share a common method of generating profits.

It's been fascinating to watch this new industry grow. Within a very short time new companies have entered the playing field from tech companies that provide blog platforms and blog consultants who will help you develop strategy to creative firms that will design "skins" for your blog and companies that will place ads on blogs and ads in RSS feeds.

Although blog writing has it's roots in website writing, business/marketing blogs demand a different style. Conversational but at the same time professional. Blog copywriters are emerging to fill a gap when companies don't have internal resources. Paul Chaney, Radiant Marketing Group launched Bloggeropoly - the world's first blogger for hire agency.  And there are freelance blog copywriters too like Tris, Alex and Jane.

Can you think fast,  compose fast, type fast and shoot photos too? Continuing the entrepreneur spirit, Kris Krug is offering a unique service - live blogging at events.

Blog networks serve as portals that distribute blogs adding another dimension to the blogosphere. Some networks pay bloggers to write niche blogs.

Blog Networks
Blog What
Creative Weblogging
Breaking News Blog