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Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business by C.C. Chapman, Ann Handley

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Chapter 26

Boeing Company

Chicago, Illinois

The defense and aerospace industries aren’t typically known for their candor. But five years ago, the Boeing Company made news by being among the first of a handful of major companies to embrace a kind of “management glasnost” when it launched two public blogs, including Randy’s Journal, a blog of thoughts and observations now hosted by vice president of marketing Randy Tinseth1 (http://boeingblogs.com/randy). For industries characterized by security clearances and classified projects, Boeing was an early prototype: a huge company ceding some control and directly exposing itself to potentially harsh public criticism in exchange for what it hoped would be more open and constructive dialogue with its customers and employees.

Fast-forward to 2009. Randy’s Journal and Boeing’s second blog (geared toward the business of building airplanes) weren’t enough to base a social media strategy on, says Todd Blecher, Boeing’s communications director. “Our content was not appropriate for social media,” he says. “It was too long, too technical.” Boeing didn’t want to rush onto various social media platforms without having something interesting to talk about, Todd says, because, “Setting up accounts on Twitter or on Facebook is not a strategy.”

Boeing felt that with a million unique visitors per month, Boeing.com needed to be the central hub for its dramatically new approach. Central to its strategy was the premise that Boeing.com would not be a dull, ...

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