I'm attending Blogging Success Summit 2011I've had the pleasure of listening to recordings from the Blogging Success Summit 2011! It is wonderful and as promised, I will share my recap of each course here on my blog. 

I have also signed up for the Social Media Success Summit and will share that experience with you as well! Be on the look out for new article coverage on those presentations!

In this post I'd like to review how big business like Southwest Airlines, Proctor & Gamble (P&G), and McDonald's use blogging to reach customers and build their online and social media presence.

The Panel:

  • Christi McNeil (Southwest Airlines)
  • David Germano (Procter & Gamble)
  • Rick Wion (McDonald's)

How Big Businesses Are Leveraging the Power of Blogs
Rick Calvert of BlogWorld starts off the presentation with a few notes and then some additional notes in between presenters.

He stresses to use the approach which is best for you, your community and brand, and which best suits your goals.  However, which ever strategy is used to:

  • Be Authentic. Be true to yourself and your brand.
  • Never forget your community.
  • Add value to your customers and community.

Christie – Southwest Airlines (Nuts About Southwest)
Christie shares some history in the developing the Southwest blog.

April 2006 launched to fill the void of the great conversations and relationships built with the community after the showing of the Airline show on A&E. The show was popular but once it ended it left an empty spot in communicating with customers and beside the scenes look at Southwest Airlines (to good as well as those areas that needed improvement). But it was real, true, authentic. The blog was then formed and over the next few years won some awards.

In 2008 the blog received a complete makeover and added new features === > Nuts About Southwest.

CM Capture 8
Nuts About Southwest consists of 30 bloggers, employees who volunteer their time to contribute articles, videos, pictures. There is a Managing Editor who chooses what gets published and there is also a Comment Moderator.

Nuts About Southwest and Social Media

  • Flickr, YouTube (2 videos per week), 
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Geolocation

All the bloggers where trained how to use multimedia & hardware, and given cams as well. 

Social Media Takeaways

  • Don't be afraid to join the conversation.
  • Make it personal.
  • Establish channels before a crisis (have social media involved in that plan)
  • Act quickly.
  • Don't rely on numbers alone.
  • Educate your employees and leaders.
  • Live and breathe social media.
  • Be passionate.
  • It takes work.
  • Have fun!

David Germano – Proctor & Gamble (Man of the House.com)

General Manager of P&G's Man of the House Search, Social Media & content. ManoftheHouse.com represents a unique way how the marketing community is involving the blogging community.

CM Capture 9

Man of the House is content property that targets married men and dads; men's roles in this culture are changing:

  • changing in household.
  • caring for household, 
  • caring for kids.

Provides men with helpful information in regards to content. Arrived here by observing what has happened in the household. We know how mom's roles has changed but how have they impacted dad's roles?


800 articles, 75 videos.

Content comes from many different sources including blogs.

  • Create a place to include bloggers and their voices.
  • Leverage those voices (bloggers) and building relationships with bloggers and want to include their content on Man of the House.
  • Man of the House do produce their own content as well – 15 key contributors (bloggers or content online specialist).

Case: Met with Gilette team.. "Thanks Dad" initiative 

Reached out to their bloggers to create 20 custom articles focused on driving this message. Great volume of readership and content is still live on ManoftheHouse.com. This type of campaign and initiative in involving the blogging community enables Man of the House to get great content and in return also gives bloggers to get great exposure.

Rick Wion – McDonald's

McDonald's "we don't blog". Yes, you heard right! McDonalds does not blog instead they invest in other bloggers that are out there. So many amazing bloggers writing great content = wider and broader success with working with them.

Many interviewed bloggers out there were already customers of McDonald's – whether a teenager loving the McRib or a mom driving home from soccer practice who picks up Happy Meals for the kids.

They have ohers blog about:

  • Items on menu
  • Experience at stores
  • Local charitable efforts
  • New products testing

Again, instead of trying to manage their own blog, McDonalds works with ones that are already out there and driving the conversation. 

  • Protecting their brand
  • Supporting their products
  • Help build brand trust

They do not pay bloggers.

  • They build relationships with these bloggers and are on a first name basis.
  • Tune message to different audiences
  • Quality of conversation is also key, not just finding blogs that have mega numbers.

The connect with many types of bloggers:

  • Parents
  • Nutritionists
  • Fitness experts
  • Sports (lots of sports events)
  • Food
  • Media/marketing trade
  • Substainability

When they contact bloggers, there are no cold calls. They maintain a database, and their relationships. 

They have partnered with BlogHer, Blogalicious and others.

Measurement is key point when finding partners or bloggers to relay McDonalds message and in building their brand.

  • Relevancy
  • Readership
  • Reach
  • Comments
  • Level of engagement



I hope you have noticed that these three BIG BUSINESSES have very different approaches to blogging and what works well for them:

  • Nuts About Southwest – part of their site and very active. They have 30 bloggers, employees who volunteer articles, photos, and videos. They are very active in the social media market utitlizing Facebook and Twitter, Flickr and more.  They have won many awards!
  • Man of the House – editoral entity. They strive on building content (text) on helping men and dads in the new roles of men in the household. Dads, go check this site out! And Moms too – a wonderful source in getting a man's perspective.
  • McDonalds – do not blog but use the power of other bloggers and the blogging community to get their message out!

I hope you enjoyed this week's article on the Blogging Success Summit 2011 coverage.

Up Next…

  • How to Claim Your Blog with Technorati. This article is 1/2 written as I'm in the final steps of claiming the blog where Technorati has to review the claim. So as soon as that last step is done I will post the article. So it should come this week I hope 😀
  • Reorganize Your Blog SERIES. Using pages to better organize your blog content and to remove clutter from your sidebars.

Happy Blogging!

Heather Wright-Porto


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