Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Businesses Urged to Embrace New Media

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Businesses Urged to Embrace New Media

Article excerpt

Airport security checkpoints can sometimes be confusing and irritating, but the Transportation Security Administration strictly plays by the rules.

However, the agency has taken an unconventional approach in establishing dialogue with customers - blogging.

"Here is a very conservative institution in government that is focused on security putting a blog out there to establish communication," said Jerry Stevenson, director of communications for Buck Consultants. "It's a remarkable example of an organization who has employed the new media tools to do it better."

Blogs, social-networking Web sites, Wikipedia and podcasts are tools of a new media to which businesses are trying to adapt.

Stevenson was invited by the Tulsa International Association Business Communicators on Wednesday afternoon to speak on how businesses can use two-way communication efficiently. He stresses the new media tools can be used effectively to communicate with employees on the inside and the market on the outside.

But Stevenson said many companies are apprehensive to use the new tools and are missing out on its benefits.

"They think it's something that teenagers use that causes dangerous leaks of information that turn into problems for companies," he said. "These tools offer plenty of opportunity to do really important things for companies if they use them in the right way."

Companies struggle for a voice in this new environment, and they struggle with how to use the tools to connect with customers.

Stevenson said the answer is blogging.

"The great thing about blogs is it's like a never-ending focus group," he said. "It's a way to tap into what customers want and how companies can adapt to change and stay ahead of the competition."

Customers respond to blogs because they tend to read more like a conversation - they often don't have jargon-heavy language, he said. Because of the laid-back atmosphere blogs provide, Stevenson said it is imperative companies learn and adapt to that conversational writing style. …

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