Case Analysis: Marriott On The Move Motivates Customer Relationships

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Group 4 Case Analysis - Case 6-4: Marriott On The Move Cultivates Customer Relationships

Situation Analysis -
The Blogosphere in 2007
Predominantly female
Between the ages of 24 and 40
Typically living in urban areas
Other corporations already had blogs or were starting blogs in 2007

Main Implications -
Who did the situation affect?
Company shareholders
Employees of the company, specifically the PR department, HR department and executives
Not only existing consumers, but also potential consumers
Business partners (specifically Chinese shareholders, Chinese government)
What’s at stake?
Opening a can of worms - CEO may not know what’s at stake with social media, may not know how to respond to comments on social media.
Brand Image at stake,
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What do you think about the blog?
The Marriott blog helps connect consumers with the CEO by humanizing him as a person and not just a removed corporate entity. The blog also shows his legacy’s strength and values. Bill Marriott writes the way he speaks, and audiences can read along with his voice to further connect with him. It is as if audiences are having a conversation with their own grandparent.
Explain the distinctive benefits and drawbacks of a blog, as compared with other social media channels, such as microblogs and social networking sites.
Benefits: Corporate blogs such as the Marriott blog offer insights on the corporate culture of Marriott, and this kind of transparency is good. If there is a conversation to be had, Marriott will be on the front lines to maintain their image. This includes showing the CEO in a different light giving decidedly personal anecdotes about his life and difficulties such as health issues, surgery, and family. This kind of content is relevant and relatable to audiences, connecting them with the brand and the
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Hosting a blog also makes the brand vulnerable to bad press, angry customers, and hacking. Another drawback of corporate blogs is generating fresh content that audiences will bite.
If your CEO expressed an interest in starting a blog, what would you need to discuss before deciding to move forward?
Some important things to consider when a CEO wants to start a blog are scheduling conflicts and time management, tone and voice of the blog. Ghostwriting, editing, and comment response are all also aspects to consider when polishing this new facet of the company. Would the blog be managed by a third party for accuracy?
Marriott rejected ghost blogging. Explain and justify your position about whether a blog’s stated author should delegate the writing of the blog posts to a public relations practitioner.
Depending on the purpose of a blog, ghost writing can come in handy. Personal blogs absolutely should not have ghost writers, but customer service/complaint/review blogs should be controlled by a PR professional. For a corporate blog such as Marriott’s, ghost writing may not be essential, but moderation by a public relations professional would be helpful to make sure the blog’s message aligns with the

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