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OPINION! Uwe Knaus, Daimler Blog Manager: "Dialog is the icing on the cake!"

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Daimler applies to the DAX-30 Company as a pioneer in Cooporate blogging. Uwe Knaus, who started the Daimler blog, talks about objectives and opportunities for blogging and social media in companies.

Uwe Knaus has been involved in conception, launch, moderation and strategic planning since the beginning of 2007 development of the Daimler blog. Since mid-2009, the business graduate has also been responsible for the conception and strategy of the use of Twitter for corporate communications and has been managing the strategic use of social media since the beginning of 2010.

Mr. Knaus, how did you actually get to blogging?

In the middle of 2006 I dealt with the media change and the changes that Web 2.0 brought with it for the first time. So it made sense to deal more intensively with the topic of “blogging”. In order to better understand the blogosphere, I delved deeper into the matter and read numerous well-known blogs, including comments. Because dialogue is the icing on the cake and is what makes blogs so interesting!

In the course of time, I became acquainted with and appreciated numerous blogs that were connected to one another. I became more and more involved in the dialogue and began to comment on contributions. In the beginning 2007 I discovered Twitter and started with Microblogging. My first experiences with my own blog contributions, however, I collected, after the start of the Daimler blog, in October 2007.

Why was the Daimler blog launched and what are Daimler's goals with the blog?

Our communication department has been dealing with media change and the associated changes for quite some time: falling circulation of print media with a simultaneous increase in online use, changed communication behavior through Web 2.0 functionalities, increasing popularity of social media platforms or mobile Internet use are just a few examples.

This means that growing target groups are less and less accessible via traditional forms of media and we therefore had to think about how we can still reach this generation of “digital natives”. That's how it came about Concept ABC School Joke Oud for a corporate blog.

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Can a large corporation such as Daimler be made transparent with social media at all?

Right, companies are difficult to understand with increasing size and thus seem inhumane. Corporate blogs are an important tool for large corporations to be human and manageable despite their size. The readers no longer see our company as a black box, but see the individuals who work at Daimler. The freer our employees write, the more authentic the external impact. Transparency is the main objective.

Who blogs at Daimler?

Apart from a few guest contributions, the Daimler blog is devoted exclusively to employees. To date, 220 authors have published 350 contributions.

Do you have visitor statistics?

Of course we want to know who our readers are. We use common statistical tools such as etracker. The Daimler blog has up to 40.000 visitors per month, of which well 40 percent employees are. In addition, we carry out a survey once a year, where we ask for information that can not provide us with statistics.

And who are your readers?

The last survey showed that our readers are male to 76 percent and the age group of the twenty to thirty-year-olds with 38 percent represents the lion's share of the readership. The range of readers ranges from the shareholder through the customer to the journalist.

We also checked the Forrester's Social Technographics profile and noticed a surprisingly high level of activity from our readers on the social web. The proportion of “creative people” who actively blog, upload videos and create podcasts is 40% and thus well above the German average (9%).

The number of "critics" who write online reviews and leave comments on blogs is 46%, which is also very high. We are very satisfied with the results, especially since they show that we can reach the group of investigative multipliers very well. More about the results of the reader survey can be found here: http://blog.daimler.de

What is the advantage of readers reading your blog? Daimler finally releases a lot of press releases.

PR or public relations is the conscious, planned and lasting effort between organizations and subpublishers to build up mutual understanding and trust: work with the public, work for the public, work in the public.

Every employee has the opportunity to take part in Daimler's public relations work on the Daimler blog. However, this form of PR is not planned and, thanks to the comment function, is also dialogue-oriented. Our readers, regardless of whether they are journalists or employees, stay between five and seven minutes per visit and deal intensively with the company. This gives you an insight into our Group, including impressions, feelings and thoughts from people who work at Daimler - unadorned and uncensored. Or in other words: authentic Communication at eye level.

Speaking of authentic communication: How do you react to critical issues with your blog?

Once we identify critical issues, we also think about a possible response to the blog. We had such situations several times.

Zum Beispiel?

When short-time working and working time shortened at Daimler, the head of personnel and work politics blogged to bring clarity into the public discussion.

In October 2009, some companies hit the headlines because of the issue of “blood tests as a requirement for employment”. At that time, we were the only DAX company to react quickly and centrally to this negative and sometimes one-sided reporting via blog. The senior corporate doctor answered the most important questions in an interview on the same day that the topic hit the print media. In all cases we drew attention to ourselves. From the point at which we had a say, the debate became more objective and the decentralized discussions on the Internet subsided.

And how do you deal with unpleasant comments in the blog?

Violations of our comment guidelines lead to the intervention of the moderator. If a commentator behaves next, he is drawn to his misconduct. If it is an offense, the comment is immediately deleted. Depending on the situation we delete only the corresponding passages, but also sometimes the entire comment.

How often do you use one?

This has happened eight times since it started in October 2007. When we need to delete, we always indicate which comment was deleted and why. Here, too, transparency is the be-all and end-all. Criticism is generally desirable, especially if it is constructive.

And does it work for a group like Daimler?

When it comes to corporate blogs, the company's “fans” usually outnumber the critics. They usually deal deeper and longer-term with the company and its issues. That is why discussions usually regulate themselves within comments. Black sheep who do not know how to behave are often caught by other discussants, even before moderation intervenes.

All in all, we have found that cautious moderation, transparent commentary guidelines and the double opt-in procedure for commenting are a good basis for a positive discussion culture.

Do you see the blog as an alternative or even as a competition to the classic company PR?

Through social media, the classic PR is extended by the possibilities of the Web 2.0, ie: interaction and collaboration. PR becomes PR 2.0, so I see social media communication as a useful addition to the classic PR.

How do you use Twitter in connection with your blog?

We have integrated our Twitter activities into the Daimler blog. Daimler's tweets are integrated in the right column of the blog. Conversely, blog posts are also automatically published on the @ Daimler_News account on Twitter.

Does the blog help me if I'm looking for a job at Daimler?

The Daimler blog gives you a first impression of our corporate culture - open, authentic and uncensored dialogue is an indication of this. In addition, the topic category “Entry and Career” gives you an insight into the opportunities that work life at Daimler offers, but job offers can still be found on our Entry and Career website.

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9 responses to “OPINION! Uwe Knaus, Daimler Blog Manager: "Dialog is the icing on the cake!" "

  1. Series - Make Money With Blogging: In-Text Advertising | Profession pictures by Simone Janson says:

    […] perhaps. Unfortunately not from the reader's point of view! Because they felt fooled and asked me by comment why one would only get to advertising with every click on a link. Say: The [...]

  2. ZukunftOnlinePR says:

    Interview with # ZOPR speaker @uknaus about Corperate Blogs: "Dialogues are the icing on the cake"

  3. Finds from June 30.06.2010, XNUMX «daniel rehn - digital & real says:

    […] June 2010 · Leave a comment “Dialog is the icing on the cake!” Uwe Knaus, Manager of the Daimler Blog, gives another insight into […] in an interview with Simone Janson

  4. Marcel Bernet says:

    Thank you for the interesting, clear interview. why do all links lead to advertising? why can not you click away?

  5. Simone Janson says:

    Hello Mr. Bernet,
    I'm glad you like the interview. To your question: Because these are not links, but intext advertising (green and with dashed line).
    On the left, however, are gray and with a solid line - and there are only three of them in the interview.
    I'll think about how to distinguish that more clearly.
    Simone Janson

  6. Daniel Neuen says:

    RT @ k2gipfel: RT @uknaus: Eigen-RT @simonejanson Interview with @uknaus, manager of the Daimler blog Knaus also speaks a ...

  7. K2 summit says:

    RT @uknaus: Eigen-RT @simonejanson Interview with @uknaus, manager of the Daimler blog Knaus also talks about T agung #k2kk

  8. uknaus says:

    Eigen-RT @simonejanson Interview with @uknaus, manager of the Daimler blog: "Dialog is the salt in the soup!" Really good!d8BH7

  9. Simone Janson says:

    Interview with @Uknaus, manager of the Daimler blog: "Dialog is the salt in the soup!" Really good!d8BH7

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