Paul Holmes 21 Apr 2009 // 11:00PM GMT
Lenovo, an international technology company and innovative leader in the PC market, approached Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide (Ogilvy PR) for help in starting a blog for its corporate executives and staff in order to create a two-way communication channel with Lenovo enthusiasts and potential customers. Ogilvy PR’s 360° Digital Influence team worked with Lenovo to identify real people within the company—executives, engineers, managers and analysts—who were passionate about the issues important to Lenovo and could convey this passion to the company’s customers via blog communications.
Ogilvy PR wanted to facilitate open communication between Lenovo employees and their target audiences utilizing social media as a platform for a two-way conversation. The team recognized that although there was chatter in the digital space surrounding Lenovo, there was a void of conversation from the company to Lenovo enthusiasts. Ogilvy PR analyzed the online space that Lenovo inhabited and broke the audience into five sectors:
1. Product design enthusiasts
2. Computer enthusiasts
3. Tech and design bloggers
4. Consumer electronics and trade media
5. Lenovo and ThinkPad brand enthusiasts
Research, Planning and Objectives
While attempting to reach Lenovo’s targeted audiences, Ogilvy PR also visualized a social media platform that would leverage Lenovo’s leaders and allow them to support the key messages outlined in Lenovo’s corporate communications plan. Ogilvy PR performed a “deep dive” to examine the online conversations surrounding the company and discovered that Lenovo was cited as lagging behind in four specific areas:
1. Visibility of Lenovo on the blogosphere
2. “Insider’s Perspective” of product design and thought leadership at Lenovo
3. Demonstrating leadership in the product design space, especially focused on ThinkPad
4. Engaging users in dialogue
Facilitate open communication between Lenovo employees and their target audiences to regain credibility with PC enthusiasts and increase level of customer service.
Upon evaluation of the research, Ogilvy PR concluded that a blog—written by Lenovo engineers, managers and analysts—would be the best medium in the social media space for Lenovo to insert itself into the conversation. LenovoBlogs.com would offer an interactive space for them to openly communicate and discuss achievements, goals, news, strategy and other pertinent content related to the company and its employee base. Below are the specific strategy tasks:
• Build co-creation blog content on LenovoBlogs.com with numerous authors through honest thought leadership postings and truly meaningful customer interaction via the blogs.
• Make the leaders of Lenovo accessible through the blog and allow them to relay the qualities of the corporation on a one-on-one level and in a way that people can relate to.
• Provide insider information to Lenovo enthusiasts that are not generally accessible to people outside the corporation.
• Develop a two-way relationship with customers that allow them to ask questions about Lenovo products or activities, and have Lenovo answer them, thus developing a true relationship.
Ogilvy PR created a two-way communication channel between Lenovo executives and individuals by using the open-source blog software WordPress. WordPress allows users to build a blog environment that is flexible and adjustable and can grow with new technology as needed. It also commands the ability to use third-party plug-ins to utilize tools and widgets that are commonplace in Web 2.0 interfaces. The blog’s look and feel is simple, with a clean style similar to other Lenovo materials. The design is “genuine” to the blogosphere (branded, not slick) and serves as an aggregator of multiple personal blogs from Lenovo executives that have unified design and navigation paths. The blogs give readers an insight not only into what occurs at Lenovo, but also into future technology. A simple and consistent interface was designed for the blog templates of Lenovo blog aggregation. Although the subject matter may vary within each blog, ultimately, the consistent navigation allows the user to explore each Lenovo subject area with ease. Links, tags, calendars, archived folders, categories, the most recent posts and del.icio.us bookmarks are just some of the available navigation tools to help the visitor to gather a big-picture view of the authors and their insights.
LenovoBlogs.com was launched using a multiblog strategy—covering areas of special definition and interest as opposed to a single corporate blog. David C. Churbuck, Vice-President of Global Web Marketing at Lenovo said, “We expect those specialty blogs—social responsibility, insider tips, design, etc.—to attract customer service and fulfillment comments, and indeed they have.” The content of the blog plays a very important role in setting the tone for the blog. It represents the team model that is necessary to resolve large and complex issues. Top-level Lenovo executives were recruited to post on a regular basis and respond to comments in a timely manner to further engage individuals into the conversation and create meaningful interactions by listening and responding to every visitor. By leaving security open and allowing individuals to post comments, trackbacks or outbound links without logging in, Ogilvy PR accomplished a higher level of two-way communication.
The team integrated strong visuals—YouTube and Flickr feed accounts containing photos of Lenovo products and executives—and created a deeper engagement with the visitor and Lenovo products. By including syndication through RSS feeds and Technorati, daily consumption of the aggregated LenovoBlogs.com also continues to increase. Additionally, Ogilvy PR defined strong blog roles and Web site links that are related in subject matter and create cross-linking between common sites.
Summary of Results: LenovoBlogs.com continues to grow and exist organically by letting people contribute and grow the conversation. The results, based on the monitoring tools, continue to inform the team that the co-creation of content and the active participation of the executives will lead to active individuals and a stronger brand preference. Site visits, RSS subscription and trackbacks continue to increase on a daily basis and command a consistent performance without the assistance of paid advertising or marketing. Specific monitoring statistics include the following:
• 448 blogs link to LenovoBlogs.com
• 3 blogs link to
• 13 blogs link to The Heart of Business
• 39 blogs link to Inside the Box, Inc.
• 32 blogs link to Design Matters
• Pit Lane has 33 subscribers
• The Heart of Business has 124 subscribers
• Inside the Box Inc. has 301 subscribers
• Design Matters has 226 subscribers
Google Analytics—stats from
• 107,929 total visits from 181 countries and all 50