The US Navy is developing an open social media policy. Charlene Li, who wrote the best-selling social media book, Groundswell, was one of 16 bloggers invited on board the USS Nimitz.
You can read about her experiences here.
And here are some extracts from Commander Charlie Brown about why they are opening up to bloggers:
Why is the Navy inviting all these bloggers on the ship?
‘We wish we could bring every tax payer out to see what the Navy does, but we can’t. So we try to bring out folks who have the ability to share the experience with a wider audience. And for us, this group of bloggers…that was a perfect group to do that.’
How are you going to measure the success of the embark?
‘Our goal was to bring folks out who don’t necessarily have a familiarity with what naval aviation does. It’s your Navy, it’s your aircraft carriers, so we want to show you what we’re doing with those. So by having you folks coming and joining us, I think it’s already a success.’
Are you a little bit nervous about what we are going to write?
‘Only a few of you! You’re going to have open access. You’ll be able to talk to whomever you like, and see whatever you want to see, and I think you’ll get a lot out of it.’
The architects of this social media policy are very smart. By choosing Charlene Li, they chose a leading influential blogger with an extensive network. We are part of that network and we too are blogging now about the US Navy. This just shows in a small way how you can gain influence by treating your company as a platform and being useful to the network that surrounds you.
The actions of the US Navy could be applied by organisations to bloggers. Why not invite bloggers to product launches or to meet and visit people in interesting areas of your business?
Blogger relations programmes are something that we are working on with clients. But it can be difficult for organisations who are reluctant to open up.
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