BMF & Blogging

blogging-platformWeek 8 just crept up without me realizing it. Just wish I could share the kind of weekend I am having with you guys (hint: st….ful). So, these terms, “social media”, “social technology” has been buzzing for the past weeks on this blog. First it was their benefits, then it was their value levers, and then the risks, last week I talked about how social media is leveraged in non-profit organisations (Amnesty International). Again today (at the risk of sounding nostalgic), I will be reflecting on how social media technology (blog) is used in an advertising agency. The refreshing twist this week is that I will not necessarily be talking about blogs as a social media tool but, will be concentrating more on its affordances  in the organisation such as;

  •  Participation
  • Collective effort
  • Transparency
  • Independence
  • Persistence
  • Emergence
  • Empowerment

BMF

Advertising agencies like all professional services firm, are very social in nature and again, referencing the social media analyst report, MGI, most of these agencies encourage effective collaboration and the building distinct organisational culture. For the purpose of this post, I will be looking at one of Australia’s top advertising agencies, BMF. BMF is an advertising agency, direct marketer, promotional agency, media company, and digital shop all rolled in one.  Founded in 1996 and based in Pyrmont, Australia, they do advertising campaign work for a range of organisations such as Amnesty International, ALDI, Weight watchers etc. BMF make use of different social media tools (Blog, YouTube, Twitter etc.) to enhance their business functions and add value to their clients but I will be focusing on how they use blogs within their organisation as well as externally and the benefits and risks associated to this .

BMF homepageCooperate Blogs are professional multi-functional medium which staffs within an organisation use to communicate with customers, publish and share their knowledge with each other as well as build their digital brand online.Blogs can be both synchronous & asynchronous, both named & anonymous, as well as persistent in nature and can play a very important role in driving traffic on any organisation such as BMF website. As most coperate blogs, BMF cooperate blog which they call “thinking stuff, launched in 2009 for the purpose of ensuring that employees are kept-to-date on the work thatis being done in the organisation, is seen to be named as every staff that uses it Must add their name, job title, and a picture to share information about;

  • new executives
  • awards (both theirs and any of their client’s)
  • staff achievement
  • New product launches
  • employee experiences

Recruitment

Looking for creativity, innovation, and something extraordinary, the agency also used their blog to collate entries made by applicants for the competition they (in collaboration with Australian Post) created in order to recruit creative graduates from the Advertising Federation of Australia (AFA), rather than relying on the traditional interview process.  They were able to achieve 106 percent response rate as some of the applicants posted more than once and their blog had a total of 17,749 hits.

How BMF benefits from blogging

  • As blogs are easier to update than a traditional website, it provides a voice for the organisation as a way of educating the visitors to their website.
  • It disseminates information within and external to the organisation faster than a weekly/monthly newsletter update.
  • Blogs allows for criticism and review of their products & services.
  • Potential employees are blogging too so, they also help them provide information about the organisation culture for future employees.

Potential Risks

  • Since BMF staff also use their blogging space to talk about new products launches and experiences, there is a risk that company’s trade secrets might be disclosed.
  • Discussion of clients and calling them by name might also be a great risk .

Amnesty International Reaches Out

amnesty_prisonerA few weeks ago I discussed some of the value levers organisations use to add value to their various business functions. This week I will continue with these levers but will be focusing on a particular sector and a particular business function. The social sector is made up of groups, foundations, cultural institution, etc. According to McKinsey, these various organisations are social by nature and depend on social technology to enlist volunteers, raise funds and source for continued support.

Amnesty International (AI) is a non-governmental organisation  that I happen to volunteer for. Founded in 1961, it is a worldwide movement of people campaigning to protect the human rights. Their main objective is to create a world where every person enjoys all the rights stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights standards.  In 2011, Amnesty International had provided an opportunity for significant human rights change.

For a non-governmental organisation such as Amnesty who is constantly under pressure to maximize funds, the use of social media to rapidly disseminate information across the global network is beneficial as it is of very low cost. To effectively discuss the benefits of value levers to Amnesty International business functions I will be using one of the functional areas and its associated value levers as discussed in McKinsey GIobal Institute, MGI analysis report.

Executing Mission (Education & Engaging supporters)

education_1Amnesty International (New Zealand branch) released a Facebook app called Trial by Timeline to help educate and make the public aware of their work and the existing in balance in human rights around the world, by letting them ( in a more creative way, through the app) experience first hand what it might look like to live as human beings without the basic human rights. The app does this by analyzing the user’s Facebook profile and shows them what punishments some of their comments and/or behaviors could cost them in another country, assuming there was no freedom of  expression. Amnesty International uses this app to further spread their message regarding freedom disparities across the globe.

Amnesty International (UK) in 2009, used social media to engage their supporters by asking them to drop a coordinated social media bomb used any social technology tool such as Twitter, Facebook, etc. at exactly 1:10. This was to get their supporters to raise awareness about the violence against women in the UK and the message read “each year, 1 in 10 women in Britain experienced rape or other violence in the UK“. As of June 2013 and as part of an ongoing effort to engage the Chinese speaking human activists and supporter all over the world, AI launched  a Chinese speaking websitethat will provide resources and information in the form of blog entries and articles to the Chinese whose global influence are constantly growing.

Hopefully, it his post will go a mile to convince you to get involved with Amnesty international and contribute to their cause. Don’t forget to visit my must see places page on this blog to share your opinions, share and recommend places that you have been or would like to visit and why. Thank you, until next time, Goodbye, Addios, Adeu, Au revior.