Employee blog guidelines, webcast incentives, more

Do organizations need formal blogging guidelines?

Do organizations need formal blogging guidelines?

Some organizations have created formal guidelines for employee bloggers to follow, reports Alan Scott of Factiva. "The decision to create guidelines is particular to your own company's situation and should be determined based on input from marketing, HR, and other departments."

Some things that may be included in the guidelines are references to other corporate policies (such as codes of conduct, sexual harassment, privacy, disclosure of confidential information, and the like); details on the type of information that can be delivered in a blog; information about copyright ownership; and acceptable times to post (on company or personal time, such as the lunch hour).

"For many organizations jumping into this new medium, a simple set of how-to tips might be sufficient, instead of a formal guideline document," he adds. "Many companies point out that e-mail and blogging are similar in nature, and a certain amount of trust on a company's part that employees will 'do the right thing' with their use of both e-mail and blogs is more important than trying to dictate each and every possibility in a formal written document."

Webcasts

Do incentives attract higher-quality attendees to a webcast?

"Incentives are a powerful tool to drive registration, attendance, and interest in your webcast," says Sharat Sharan of ON24. Yet, only about 10% of webcasts offer an incentive, he says, based on witnessing 10,000-plus webcasts in 2006.

"If your objective is to gather leads, a chance to win an iPod or the gadget-of-the-day will surely boost registration," he notes. That said, these types of offers may drive lead volume - not necessarily lead quality.

"If you're looking to drive attendance and learn more about your audience," Sharan suggests, "make eligibility for your prize contingent on the attendee completing the feedback survey at the end of the event." This survey provides an opportunity to further qualify attendees by asking more in-depth questions than a registration form does.

"If you're trying to sell a product via the webcast, you should offer a free trial, sample or demo, and discounts or other benefits so the attendee can try the product or service," he adds. "Again, if you have a limited supply or a limited budget for such an incentive, make it further contingent on the individual completing the feedback survey at the end of the webcast."

NTR projects

What is NTR and what are some effective examples of it?

"Part of a station's promotional activities include sponsoring events staged by promoters that include free commercials and appearances from the station," says Mark Chepowitz of Wizard of Ah's. "It didn't take long for station marketing directors to notice promoters' revenue streams and decide to capitalize on the idea by promoting virtually identical events of their own, thus creating Non-Traditional Revenue (NTR) departments.

"Our NTR projects have increased dramatically over the past few years - teaching, creating, and executing NTR concepts and projects for our corporate and PR clients," adds Cheplowitz.

Not to be left behind, television also dabbles in NTR, but with an added twist. Local "advertainment" programming, such as morning variety talk shows, are actually selling the segments to the "expert" guests. Think infomercials in small bites.

Send your questions to toolbox@prweek.com. Please contact Lisa LaMotta if you are interested in contributing to PR Toolbox or to suggest ideas for future columns.

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