Creating an Attention Wave - A Case Study in how multiple corporate blogs can deliver different perspectives
When I wrote my original "Creating an Attention Wave" story, I mentioned in the "Package Components" section about creating multiple posts in different corporate blogs to go out as part of the overall "package". Commenter Tamara Gruber liked this emphasis and relayed her own story:
A client of mine just did an announcement through a blog post from the CEO that talked about the new features and business benefits. That was followed on by a post from the CTO that got into the nitty gritty details. All of these pieces help tell the story. We always need to remember to step outside and take an outsiders view and guide them through the news with multiple forms of content to make sure they "get it."
I thought it might be illustrative to provide a specific example of how I and my team used this concept with a recent announcement we made at Voxeo.
Back in August at the SpeechTEK conference in New York City, we put out this news release on August 25, 2009, announcing the newest version of our software, Prophecy 10:
We followed that with a series of blog posts and a video podcast across several blogs:
Voxeo Talks (our main corporate blog)
- Unlocking Communications with Voxeo’s Prophecy 10
(8/25/09 - re-telling of news release in a more human voice)
Voxeo Developer's Corner (technical topics for developers)
- Make your existing VoiceXML (and CCXML and CallXML) apps multi-channel: add SMS and IM today…
(8/25/09 - includes screenshots)
- How to: IM and Text/SMS Your VoiceXML Applications!
(8/27/09 - includes screenshots and code samples)
The Tropo Blog (posts about our Tropo.com platform)
(8/25/09 - brief post with a screenshot)
- Messaging with Tropo
(8/27/09 - longer technical post with screenshots and code samples)
IMified Blog (posts about our IMified platform)
- SMSify your apps
(8/25/09 - brief post with a screenshot)
VoiceObjects Developer Blog (posts for developers using our VoiceObjects tool)
- How to IMify your voice application
(8/25/09 - longer post with step-by-step instructions)
Emerging Tech Talk (video podcast)
- Emerging Tech Talk #34 – Jose de Castro about Voxeo’s SpeechTEK booth and the 2,000 node telephony cluster built on netbooks
(8/27/09 - video interview with one of our developers about the demo we had at SpeechTEK)
Altogether we had 5 supporting blog posts on the day of the launch and a total of 7 blog posts and 1 video podcast within 48 hours of the launch.
All of these blog posts, once posted to our blog sites, also were distributed to readers via:
- our Twitter stream
- our Facebook page
- our Friendfeed stream
- RSS feeds, both for the individual feeds and an overall "All Voxeo Blogs" feed
- email to subscribers to our "All Voxeo Blogs" email list
All of this distribution happened automatically through our platform.
A FEW COMMENTS
As I look down the list of posts, several points pop into my mind:
- MULTIPLE AUDIENCES - As you look through the different posts, you can see that they are written to cater to the different users of our various platforms and tools. They get specifically into how the announcement matters to the specific audience.
- DIFFERENT DEPTHS - The posts vary in technical detail. Both the Voxeo Talks post and the ETT video focus on the overall message. Some of the other posts touch on the very basics of how someone can get going - and then a few dive into technical details and even include code samples.
- VARIED HEADLINES - The headlines... the titles of the posts, vary widely. There is the Voxeo Talks post title that uses the "Unlocked Communications" theme we were announcing in the release. There are longer, more descriptive headlines. There are shorter headlines. You can easily tell which are my titles... they are the longer ones (outside of Voxeo Talks). I tend to write my headlines for Twitter. I literally do copy/paste my title over into Tweetdeck to see: 1) will it fit into 140 characters with enough room for a retweet and for a link; and 2) how does it look in Twitter. The goal is of course to get people to open your link. But I do also like having the shorter titles mixed in there as well. Some of them are short and succinct... I might have changed a couple but overall it's a good mixture.
- DEVELOPER-CENTRIC - In looking over the posts in hindsight, outside of the Voxeo Talks post and the ETT video, they are all focused on developers who use our various platforms and tools. While that is great to reach out to folks working on our platforms, developers are only one of our audiences. What's clearly missing as I look at this is anything related to more of a business focus, outside of the VT and ETT posts. The opportunity was here to put up, for instance, a post like "Prophecy 10 Brings SMS and IM To Your Contact Center" or "Want to move your customer interaction beyond voice?"... you get the idea... something that addressed the business impact of the announcement. (Next time...)
There were also different authors of the posts which provided different wording, different writing styles, etc.
So the good news was that we had multiple posts across multiple blogs addressing multiple audiences and using multiple headlines.
Going back to my Attention Wave post, though, for a variety of reasons we didn't package all of this content as a "wave". Even on the first day, the 5 blog posts streamed out over the course of the day, and the other 3 streamed out two days later. Largely the major issue was that we were simultaneously involved in the largest trade show presence we have all year... so our own internal attention wasn't able to focus on preparing the package of content.
Now I don't know that this was necessarily a bad thing. The upside of streaming the content out over the course of several days is that you kept the mention of the announcement flowing out through the distribution channels. There is a case to be made to have an initial wave of posts - and then follow that with subsequent posts to keep the attention. (Wait! Shall I call those "attention ripples"? :-) )
IN THE END
So in the end, what kind of coverage did we get? how effective were the multiple posts, etc.? That will have to be the subject of another post at some point because this one is already way too long...
What I wanted to do here in this post was illustrate how I/we used multiple blogs to tell different sides of the story. I hope this was helpful and if any of you have pointers to other posts where people have similarly outlined how they used multiple blogs to tell multiple sides of a story, please do leave links in the comments. Thanks.