AWARENESS CUSTOMER PROFILE – KODAK

Community websites:

About Kodak

Kodak is the world’s foremost imaging innovator. With sales of $10.3 billion in 2007, the company is committed to a digitally oriented growth strategy focused on helping people better use meaningful images and information in their life and work. Consumers use Kodak’s system of digital and traditional products and services to take, print and share their pictures anytime, anywhere; businesses effectively communicate with customers worldwide using Kodak solutions for prepress, conventional and digital printing and document imaging; and creative professionals rely on Kodak technology to uniquely tell their story through moving or still images.

Online Communities

• A Thousand Words is a consumer-focused blog with content about the “soul” of Kodak, in other words, how the people who work at the company think about photography in their own lives. Posts vary widely in subject from how one Kodak employee is organizing her photos on her new iPod Touch, to an interview with renowned photographer John Sexton, to sharing the excitement around Kodak being featured on “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

• A Thousand Nerds is a technology-focused blog that is all about the technology and product development that goes on behind the scenes at Kodak. Researchers and product developers write about the features of recently released products, or new technology they are working with and how it is going to enhance existing and future products. This blog has catalyzed a great online discussion in the technology community, putting Kodak front and center, and reinforcing the company’s position of expertise and leadership.

Background

In 2006, Kodak launched two external facing blog communities – A Thousand Words and A Thousand Nerds – to enhance their communication with consumers and the imaging community in general. Before the launch, the company had been receiving feedback that the public wanted to know more about the company and their products, rather than just the corporate information announced in formal press releases and on their Website. The company was discovering that as people were incorporating Kodak products into their personal lives, they also wanted to interact with the Kodak brand in a more personal way. So the company launched their two blog communities in response to this reaction with the purpose of giving the soul and brains of Kodak – their employees – a public voice. In addition to sharing more about Kodak, the communities also allowed for the creation and dissemination of a different kind of original information - because they are written by people who work with Kodak products all day, rather than public relations professionals. Kodak has found that the blog content created by employees directly sharing their own experiences and interests is much more valuable in relating to customers.

Solution

To build these two blog communities, Kodak turned to Awareness and their enterprise social media platform. A major concern in launching these blogs for a company of Kodak’s size and reputation was how to do so in a way that the content being created could be monitored and controlled if necessary. The Awareness platform provided the required security controls and permissioning features, such that content being posted is in line with corporate policies but doesn’t have to be proof-read or edited. As a result, the blog content is original and fresh, straight from the mouths of the employees, and the executives are completely on board and in support of the project without hesitation.

Benefits/Results

In the little over a year that the communities have been live, they have generated:

Viral Buzz: The company has done no formal marketing around them, but instead has simply linked to them throughout the corporate website and other strategic places like press releases. All the blog traffic is viral and a result of Kodak’s creative efforts such as linking to A Thousand Nerds from a press release announcing a new product feature which people can click on, and immediately read more about the development of the technology straight from the engineer.

Industry Success: Recently, PRWeek featured A Thousand Words as a model corporate blog, and it has also been featured in BusinessWeek Online and CNET.

Robust Employee Participation: Demand to post on both communities is very high and increasing steadily. Everyone wants to participate, and anyone is allowed to, so the content being contributed to each blog is continually getting richer as it simultaneously builds pride in the Kodak brand internally.

• Additionally, both Kodak blogs have become go-to resources and destination sites for the photography industry for experts, amateurs and consumers alike.