Archive for the ‘corporate’ Category

"Labatt Life" blog and stakeholder expectations

posted by Brendan Hodgson

In an earlier post, I mentioned briefly that we were working with Labatt to help build and launch their “Labatt Life” group corporate blog. I also mentioned that I wanted to focus on this project a bit more – for a few reasons.

Today’s corporations face issues that require highly targeted forms of communications – be it to investors , governments, communities, prospective and current employees, and around issues such as corporate social responsibility, corporate reputation, and so forth. Increasingly, this targeted outreach requires an organization to become significantly more strategic in the messages they wish to communicate to a particular audience, and the channels through which those messages are delivered to that audience. All pretty straightforward stuff.

Add to this, however, the evolving notion of ‘expectation’ and this scenario becomes even more challenging. Quite simply, stakeholders are increasingly setting the parameters for how they elect to receive information. And that has implications not only for what I chose to communicate but also how I chose communicate it. Previously, expectations were constrained largely by the channels themselves – specifically, the lack thereof and the high cost of utilizing those channels (that did exist) in order to reach niche audiences. 

Today, however, audiences increasingly expect:

  1. communications that are more frequent (yet more targeted and relevant)
  2. communications that are more direct (and unfiltered by third-parties)
  3. communications that are more “substantive” and “authentic” (vs soundbites)
  4. communications that are delivered via the media of their choosing (traditional or new)
  5. communications that allow for both reaction and interaction

For Labatt, talent acquisition and retention is a key priority, and their management trainee program is a critical part of their recruitment strategy. At the same time, they also realized that traditional forms of communications were no longer sufficient to meet the changing expectations of this increasingly “wired” target group. Which is why the Labatt Life blog was created: to provide additional opportunities for Labatt to communicate to potential recruits in a way that allows for direct, frequent and “authentic” interaction (given that this blog is authored in part by current trainees, and provides a real, behind-the-scenes perspective), via a channel that these audiences increasingly look to for information.

That Labatt understood this changing environment made the experience of working with them even better. How they support and sustain this platform over the long term will be the real test. However, keep your eye on the site as they look to integrate cool content from across Labatt, and as they tour campuses across Canada.

Congrats to the Labatt team for making this happen.  

Bad memory reaps rich reward in the shape of a case study in community building

posted by Brendan Hodgson

So last week I posted on the social media initiatives of some of Canada’s bigger/est banks… A day or so later, Michael Seaton, the catalyst behind Scotiabank’s own Web2.0 campaigns, reminded me – in an excellent contextual post - of Van City’s Change Everything initiative which I had somehow forgotten to include, particularly as it was one of the first foray’s into the social web by a sizable Canadian corporation.

And good thing he did. As that illicited a response from William Azaroff, Interactive Marketing & Channel Manager at Vancity, whose blog I then happened to visit.

And good thing I did. Because he has just recently concluded a three-part series (published on Netbanker) on his experience in launching, measuring and managing the Change Everything campaign. It’s a compelling case study, chock-a-block with useful insights.

I’m guessing I should be forgetful more often… I’m almost hoping I’ve missed something else?

Canada’s banks get social…

posted by Brendan Hodgson

Quite the trend appears to be unfolding in the Great White North as TD Canada Trust and RBC join Scotiabank, representing three of Canada’s five biggest banks, in embracing social media to engage with existing and potential customers.

Today, RBC announced that they are looking for a crew of student bloggers to “speak openly and honestly about their financial struggles and successes”, as part of a peer-to-peer site that is expected to go live at the end of this month. This adds to the bank’s existing investment in its just-launched Campus Connection sponsored Facebook Group.

Alongside RBC, TD Canada Trust has also unveiled its own sponsored Facebook Group – The Money Lounge - with an accompanying Facebook app – “Split it” (thanks to Kate for the heads-up) – which, like RBC, is targeted exclusively at the university and college student population.

All of this, however, falls on the heels of Scotiabank’s earlier forays into this space with the Money Clip podcast and My Vault community. Unlike RBC and TD Canada Trust, however, Scotiabank’s efforts have focused less exclusively on students and more on the broader retail banking customer (although it will be interesting to see if that changes).

Given the skyrocketing cost of Facebook sponsorships, I’ll be curious to discover if the results justify TD’s and RBC’s investment. I’ll be watching with interest.