January 30, 2009

BlogWell Learnings Part 2

blogwellAs a follow up to my previous post on the Chicago BlogWell conference, here’s a quick take on some additional learnings from presentations by Sharpie and Molson.


From an outside perspective, it doesn’t seem that there would be much of a role in utilizing social media to push a product such as Sharpie pens, right? Think again. Sharpie is armed with a super savvy, personable one-woman social media machine by the name of Susan Wassel that knows what it takes to get people talking.

Through the Sharpie blog, Susan is helping build conversation and community engagement around their brand by inspiring creativity and calling attention to those that are passionate about how they use their Sharpies. Total cost of this priceless communication tool? $2,000. Pretty good deal.

Susan also serves as the voice behind Sharpie over on Twitter and has the brand active over on Facebook (343,000 fans and 1,388 wall posts, wow, that’s impressive), Flickr and YouTube. Here’s an excellent short clip to demonstrate how they’re working to encourage and charge up their “creator” base.


First off, you have to respect anyone that gets up at a conference and makes a presentation while tipping back a cold one. Adam Moffat, Molson’s Manager of Brand Marketing and PR started off his presentation by noting that it only made sense for Molson to get involved with social media given the “social nature” of their product.

For the Molson social media team, it’s all about facilitating conversation and getting consumers to talk to one another about their love of Molson (note how they uniquely bridge the gap between personal and brand presence on Twitter – @MolsonMoffat, @MolsonFerg, @MolsonBryan, @toniahammer). How are they doing it? Aside from having a presence on the usual sites, Molson is a doing a great job focusing their blog not on their product, but rather on the role their company plays in helping the community. It’s a great way to say, “yes we sell a product, but look at how our employees and brand have a larger involvement and investment within the community.”

In addition, they’ve hosted blogger meet-ups in the past to foster one-to-one consumer relationships. Adam even recalled a scenario where a small group of consumers put out a call for a specific batch of flavored Molson and they responded by inviting the group to the brewery and treating them to their own special batch. That’s response.

Like many brands, it looks like Molson also had to learn a social media lesson along the way to get to where they’re at today. I anticipate Molson will continue to try new ideas and avenues of outreach to help blaze the already strong social media trail they’ve created.


Aside from these excellent, informative presentations, Gas Pedal CEO and Blog Council member Andy Sernovitz provided an excellent 15 minute presentation on the crucial topic of “disclosure.”

The Blog Council has been kind enough to pull together this disclosure document to help guide best practices for companies, agencies and bloggers. Even if your company already has a disclosure document in place, I highly recommend you take a glance at the six fantastic one-page checklists they’ve pulled together. Mind you, these documents have been reviewed and approved by 24 different Blog Council members and their legal departments, representing some of the biggest brands out there.

You can’t pass up that kind of free info, especially on such a fundamental topic.

Thanks for the great conference BlogWell!


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Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great tear down of Blogwell. The highlight for me was Susan from Sharpie, who is so earnest and enthusiastic about pushing her social media agenda. And you can’t beat the cost of her efforts! Goes to show it only takes one passionate individual to get the ball rolling and realize some early wins.


  2. […] each presenter had to say. I jotted notes and listened intently so that I could later pull all my thoughts together. In addition, I wanted to use the conference to actually connect face-to-face with some […]

  3. […] had the pleasure of meeting him in person, but I did get to hear him speak last month at BlogWell. Andy distributed a “top secret” advance copy of his new book in everyone’s […]


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