Ed Garsten, editorial director of DaimlerChrysler’s media-only blog - TheFirehouse.biz provided an interview to me as part of Diva Marketing’s Biz Blog Profile Series.
Ed explained the strategy and gave his views about blogging and the
impact of the internet. Our interview is one of only two that Ed has
given about Firehouse.biz. The other was with Debbie Weil.
For those who might have missed the the story, recently TheFirehouse.biz blog created some buzz in the blogosphere when word got out that it was open only to the media. Industry analysts have since been invited.
What did this Fortune 100 company do? They took it in stride and
never proactively participated in the conversation. It seemed odd to me
that they didn’t tell their own story. However, from their research,
they knew the blog was being embraced by their target readers who were "grateful for the opportunity to communicate in a closed environment." As Ed said, "Does Ski Magazine care about what non skiers think about it?"
"Blogging is still an evolving medium that different constituencies
will begin to use in ways that make sense to them. We’re not about
exclusivity or secrecy. We’re about communicating with a certain subset
of people and aiming our content toward them with ‘Firehouse.’ " Ed Garsten
So the what if the some pundits of the blogopshere are tied up in
knots about a closed community blog. Althought barely a month old, it
was launched September 12th, the company views TheFirehouse.biz as a
success. It has become an important media relationship strategy.
According to Ed, DaimlerChrysler considers the blog "…another means
spreading our message
while affording reporters an opportunity to post their feedback on
issues, events, products, etc."
One thing for sure Ed gets it when he says, "We’re involved in the most explosive form of communication to
come along in at least a decade and there’s no reason its growth and
potential should be reined in by artificial limits. It’s called
Yeah, the Chrysler Media Group made a few blunders in the launch;
however, for the most part, their strategy was well thought out and
researched. They understood what their target audience wanted and
delivered it. Sure there are growing pains, but it’s a new medium and
we’re all still learning. Heck…we can’t even agree on how to define a business blog!