Cool Solutions

IBM Promoting Business Blogging


October 5, 2005 4:21 pm





The lead story on IBM’s On Demand Business web site right now is about the benefits of business blogging. They’ve got a flash file up with a couple of IBM execs talking about the power of business blogging for building communities and customer loyalty. It’s an interesting approach, since the polished flash presentation seems to clash with the perception of blogging as wild west, but I think that’s the point IBM is trying to make: blogging is just a new, interactive way of communicating with the folks who care about your company, and companies should take advantage of it. There are some good stats on blogging in the presentation. IBM’s been encouraging blogging as a corporate practice lately, and claim over 10,000 bloggers, both internally and externally. Needless to say, I’m a believer in the ability of blogs to create a new vehicle for communication. I certainly hope we can build community around the blog we’ve started here. We’re looking for your feedback on what works, and what doesn’t, and what you’d like to see. Thanks.

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Categories: Expert Views, General, PR Blog


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1 Comment

  1. By:Ryan Loken

    I noticed many of you on this blog are pr managers for a variety of companies, I was hoping you could help me out.
    Wal-mart is looking for several motivated, and driven communications and public relations professionals. This is an exciting opportunity with a growing team. Listed below are the job descriptions. Please feel free to forward to anyone you know that might be interested, or please send questions or resumes to me directly at
    When e-mailing resumes, be sure to complete and include the attached candidate profile, so we can match you with the best position possible.
    At the very bottom there are also some great links to information on Northwest Arkansas and Wal-mart. Talk to you soon.

    Director of Corporate Affairs and Reputation: Positions open in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Miami, and Denver.

    Position Overview

    Serve as market manager and face of Wal-Mart for an integrated corporate affairs program to strengthen Wal-Marts reputation as a great employer contributing to the community economically and as a strong corporate citizen. The integrated program covers state and local government relationships, media relations and community affairs. The market manager serves as the communications link for in-market internal and external resources.

    Position requires an individual who is a self-starter and can work independently in the field with minimal supervision. The individual must be a team player with excellent communication skills and able to build and maintain partnerships internally and externally.

    Position is located in the field and requires existing relationships within one or more markets.

    Specific Responsibilities

    Assess community needs and build long-term relationships

    Work with community affairs managers to assess and prioritize issues and concerns, particularly in the area of development, in each market that impacts reputation.

    Identify key opinion leaders within the market and key community organizations and special interest groups whose involvement can help strengthen Wal-Marts reputation.

    Work with market operations team to develop reputation management plan for each market. Activities flow from template plan and are customized for each market. During planning process, ensure there is support from all affected Wal-Mart functional departments.

    Maintain relationships with opinion leaders, including local legislators and government officials, media, community organizations.

    Work with state government affairs to supplement relationships at the state level and to coordinate with them and contracted lobbyists.

    Serve as local media spokesperson and face of Wal-Mart. Serve as gatekeeper to ensure complete flow of communications among functional groups, e.g., corporate communications.

    Serve as a media spokesperson for reputation activities and issues. Be proactive in establishing relationships with metro market media. Specifically pick up from the community affairs manager once real estate situations are finalized as spokesperson on store activities. Work with Corporate Communications on all messaging.

    Serve as metro market gatekeeper/point person for media representatives to ensure coordination with corporate communications for specific issues and products.

    Identify and work with stores and associates to ensure that key people and stores are available for media opportunities. Determine store and associate media spokespersons and ensure training on messages is completed. Work with Corporate Communications to ensure messages and results are communicated to associates within the market.

    Provide support and coordination for grand openings, marketing and merchandising of products and services to help generate store traffic, continued brand awareness. Work with Corporate Communications and Marketing teams to support overall seasonal objectives.

    Mobilize resources as needed during local market issues and crisis situations. Serve as market spokesperson as needed.

    Support and localize Home Office initiatives, such as the speakers bureau, diversity programs, recruiting, etc.

    Mobilize customer fan base for public speaking opportunities.

    Leverage supplier network for third party communications activities.

    Leverage Foundation resources to greatest community impact and visibility

    Work with the Wal-Mart Foundation team and regional, district and store managers to create a philanthropic strategy and related funding to improve Wal-Marts overall halo reputation in the market. Identify and build good works partnerships that can allow Wal-Mart to own and brand key relationships in the market.

    Manage execution and research resources to extend reach of internal team

    Identify and contract with metro market consultant or agency to provide strategic counseling and execution in the market.

    Manage budgets and resources designated for the market.

    Coordinate research and metrics measurement to provide qualitative and quantitative evaluation of metro market reputation.


    Minimum of 7years of experience in one or more areas of corporate affairs functions
    Communication skills, both oral and written, including media presence
    Proven track record of building and maintaining relationships with community influentials, opinion leaders
    References of current relationships among opinion leaders within metro market
    Bachelors degree in journalism, marketing, communications, public policy, government or related field
    Proven track record of working independently, with ability to tap into and leverage resources in the home office
    Ability to provide financial oversight for budgets
    Computer skills and ability to use technology to ensure consistent and constant communication
    Flexibility to travel extensively throughout region and/or market
    Must be on call 24/7 to assist with issues management and emergency response

    Agency or outside consultancy experience
    Experience with retail organization
    Understanding of real estate and development issues
    Understanding of consumer products and services
    Qualifications that are a plus:
    1. proficiency in languages other than English
    2. community service activities

    Senior Manager of Internal Communications. (Bentonville Arkansas)
    Will have responsibility for identifying key issues and developing communication to Associates in agreement with an overarching strategic campaign – improving
    perception and increasing awareness to facts. Will be tasked with supporting and maintaining cooperation for corporate communication strategy among many
    divisions and stakeholders. This position will provide content for broadcasts, Wal-Mart World articles, responses to Associate questions and external/internal
    criticism, as well as a corporate web site.
    1. 3-5 years of corporate communications experience.
    2. Demonstrate oral and written communication skills including ability to write in a variety of media, strong presentation skills, and knowledge of design
    3. Ability to establish strong partnerships with multiple divisions and stakeholders.
    4. Understands Associate needs, business needs, differences between corporate and field environments.
    5. Sensitivity to confidential issues.

    Public relations manager: (Bentonville Arkansas)

    The Corporate Public Relations Manager will have responsibility for creating and executing communications plans for numerous internal merchandising clients.
    Duties will include proactive and reactive media relations; providing strategic communications counsel to clients on traditional and crisis issues and
    writing press materials and communications plans. This position will also focus on additional corporate reputation initiatives as needed. Position participates
    in after-hours media call duty.
    -Strong writing skills and extensive media relations experience with the ability to design and execute strategic communications plans.
    -5+ years public relations/ corporate communications experience
    -Self-starter with a high degree of on-target productivity
    -Ability to work effectively within a team or as an individual contributor while handling multiple projects at once.
    -Ability to perform professionally in a high volume, high expectation work environment.

    -Client service experience in an agency or large corporate PR setting.
    -Retail experience
    -Project management experience
    -Bachelors Degree in Public Relations, Communications, Journalism or related Liberal Arts field
    -Second Language (i.e. Spanish, French)

    Community affairs manager:
    These positions could be located anywhere in the country.
    Work from home!
    The Community Affairs manager is responsible for representing Wal-Mart interests to local government officials, opinion leaders, local media representatives,
    and communities in a designated geographic regions. As part of the government relations team, this position is responsible for all issues that impact the
    company at the local level, including those actions of local government that impact the company’s ability to expand existing or locate new stores and facilities.
    1. Bachelor’s Degree
    2. 5-7 years experience in government relations, community affairs, or related field.
    3. Strong written and verbal communication skills
    4. Ability to travel extensively
    5. Ability to be based within region

    If these are opportunities you do not wish to pursue, please let me know.