Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Business, Burgers and Blogging

Is it a sign of the times? Hmmmm......

McDonald's is one of the newest entrants into the blogosphere. They've started a "Corporate Social Responsibility" blog called Open For Discussion. It's written by their Senior Director, Bob Langert.

Debbie Weil blogs about it in her blog, BlogWrite For CEO's.
Like many blogs - corporate or not - it got off to a slow start. Too many days between the first few posts in January. And they read more like essays than blog postings. More recently Bob has gotten into the swing of things with shorter, snappier entries. Topics range from his visit to the Winter Olympics in Torino to a link and reference to the blog of a former employee of McDonald's. (She appears to have been in PR.)
The fascinating thing for me, and what should be intriguing for business leaders who are wondering about ths whole blogging thing, is that McDonald's is learning on the fly. They're actually taking criticism and learning from it. In full view of the public. Do you really think the BOD would risk everything they've built on an unsure business gamble? I don't think so.

And who says failing in public is life-threatening. Dealing with it professionally and honestly is building their corporate credibility. They've become a little less "corporate" and a little more human. Is that such a bad thing?

Will it revolutionize their business, or placate corporate, grassy knoll conspiracists? I doubt it. But wanna guess as to how much it's costing them to roll out this blog. Even if you include Mr. Langert's entire "Senior Director" salary (if all his time is put towards maintaining the blog - which it obviously isn't), add the hosting and software costs and Ray Kroc's offspring is showing an ROI that would make any Fortune 100 company's CFO break out in a rash.

One down and how many left to go? A blog evangelist's work is never done....


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