In the rapidly evolving world of social media, the relatively "old school" concept of blogging remains at the forefront as one of the most popular online means of mass communication. Nowadays, blogs act as a form of constant communication to the public and act as a feeder and doorway into the writer's social networking sites profiles such as Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. Mixing popular blogs with the popular social networking sites has created such power that it seems just about everyone is doing it these days, even the world's most high profile executives and celebrities. But why is this combination so powerful?
Blogs enable the writer to communicate with the outside world filter-free and without any mainstream media "agendas"- the only agenda here is the writer's very own. The concept of blogs arrived into our world over ten years ago, became mainstream five years ago, and now there are over 112 million blogs in existence throughout the internet. It seems only natural that something so popular and powerful would be picked up and utilized by the world's most savvy business and branding leaders…my friends, please meet the executive blogger.
Seeing as execs are extremely busy people, there are several big reasons why maintaining an executive blog is an efficient marketing and branding strategy for many organizations. First and foremost, a human face and personality associated with a brand helps to encourage trust and loyalty from current and potential customers. If the customer can relate to and identify with a brand and its creator, chances are they will remain loyal to the brand and probably tell all their friends about it too.
In addition to personalizing a brand, the executive blog becomes a vehicle for mass targeted messaging- the executive is suddenly able to communicate with thousands of customers (and employees) while indirectly advertising their brand to the masses. This allows the executive to maintain a steady "dialogue" and interaction with customers through blog comments and responses while managing their regular corporate work load.
Are their risks of letting out too much info in the blog? Yes. Will the blog attract some public criticism? Probably. Will everyone like the executive involved? No. However, the positive benefits of the executive blog far outweigh the negative if things are done correctly. For example, Virgin's Richard Branson, Marriott International's Bill Marriott, Dallas Mavericks owner and HDNet TV Chairman Mark Cuban and Go Daddy's Bob Parsons have found great success in their executive blogs and continue to serve as examples of how to leverage this powerful branding tool.
When it comes to branding, notably in the online gambling space, there is one brand that stands out from the rest… "Bodog". In May 2009, after keeping a close eye on the blogging and social media developments throughout the online world, Calvin Ayre – the originator of the Bodog brand and a stakeholder in the global licensing enterprise BodogBrand.com – has a slightly different take on the executive blog...
"I think what attracts people to executive blogs is that it provides insight into the perspectives that are shaping corporate strategy and the way these leaders think about their businesses, their markets and their customers. And it some cases it gives a glimpse into the lives of industry leaders, which I personally find fascinating."
When asked what his plans are for CalvinAyre.com, he replies, laughing: "Well, as you know, I'm not a big fan of a 'me too' approach to anything. CalvinAyre.com will be something new, something entirely fresh in the online gaming space. I've coined the term "tablog" for the site – a "tabloid blog" - because it will be a site focused on developments in the online gaming world globally, and my perspectives on it, but done in a completely fresh and entertaining way that doesn't take itself too seriously. People will agree or disagree with me and they may love it or hate it, but I can guarantee it won't be boring and it'll be entertaining."
Calvin is no stranger to fame, respect, and envy, but he also knows how to handle inevitable criticism from those who read about him virtually. This is a great talent to have mastered in executive blogging world as one of the keys to executive blog success is being able to make fun of yourself and admit to your mistakes. Another key to executive blog success is providing a doorway into the personal life, hobbies, and opinions of the executive, also something that Calvin has mastered and is happy to share. Combine this vision with online gambling industry news and gossip, cool videos, exotic girls, conference and event reporting, and additional "famous" recurring characters and you've got yourself an online gambling industry...tablog.
Stay tuned for the launch of CalvinAyre.com in the fall of 2009...it's going to be an online gambling industry first.