Saturday, May 24, 2008

blogs are the NASCAR of the internet




Corporations can learn a lot from NASCAR.

People are losing faith in corporations, for many reasons. People are sick of the aloof, pompous, unapproachable nature of many CEOs and companies. Customer service is often reluctant, insincere, and even outsourced to individuals who don't speak good English.

Blogs can repair much of the damage to public perception of corporations.

If the CEO, or some passionate and informed company spokesperson, has a blog, then trust can be built. Customers and prospects can post comments, which may be questions, suggestions, or criticisms. A smart business values all input, both positive and negative.

Increasingly, in the new digital world we live in, if you don't have a blog, you don't exist.

If you don't have a blog, you send this message:

"I don't care about starting conversations with anybody. Why form relationships? Why be transparent? Why value customer input? I value only customer dollars. Buy my product now."

Dale Earnhardt, Jr., in his book Driver #8 (page 5-6), said:

"Being a Winston Cup driver means being accessible to the fans. This accessibility is the basis of NASCAR's popularity...

The drivers have known for years they weren't anything without the fans. So they signed autographs, did interviews, and they let the fans get close and see them. The fans felt like they knew the drivers personally, and the result was fan loyalty.

This continues today. When a lot of other sports see declining loyalty among fans and players, NASCAR fans remain faithful."

Blogs enable your customers to get close to you.

Implemented correctly, a CEO blog can be far more effective than any sporadic damage control PR. To ignore the blogosphere is to remain stuck in Business As Usual, which leads to Business As Over.

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