Just got off a pre-recorded interview with Pete Blackshaw for my new Internet radio show on VoiceAmerica (TM) Business: The Corporate Blogging Show. This edition airs next Tuesday (Dec. 5, 2006) at 12 noon Pacific in the regular timeslot.

Pete is CMO of Nielsen BuzzMetrics, a former brand manager for Procter & Gamble, and a genius when it comes to parsing the woolly world of consumer generated media (a phrase he coined).

Pete gave me one of my favorite quotes in The Corporate Blogging Book.

From page 95:

“Blogs are proof positive that there really is a digital trail to word-of-mouth marketing.”
– Pete Blackshaw

I want to share a few highlights of our conversation before I, er, forget them. Pete is the fastest talking and probably the most articulate guest I’ve had so far. (What does this guy eat for breakfast? He is pumped!) I scribbled notes but still didn’t get it all.

Be sure to tune in live Tuesday Dec. 5, 2006 at 12 noon Pacific to hear Pete Blackshaw on The Corporate Blogging Show.

Pete’s observations:

The term blogging may disappear

A year from now we may not be using the term blogging (I agree). It may just be part of customer service, something we expect from a company.

Marketers have a responsibility to self-regulate

We, as marketers (i.e. professionals who do this for a living), need to take the lead in self-regulating how we handle transparency and credibility in the social media space. If it’s advertising, it needs to be clear. If it’s not, then say so (just as a print advertorial does).

What’s advertising and what’s not?

Pete gave as an example a video he saw recently on YouTube that was posted by the folks behind the movie “For Your Consideration.” (I saw it over Thanksgiving weekend. It was great.)

Was it really a “most popular” video? (He noticed it at the top of YouTube’s home page.) Or was it a paid-for placement? He also noticed a movie banner above the video. Watch the video and read Pete’s blog entry.

Consumers *hate* to be tricked.

Connecting the dots between a brand and the blogosphere

Pete has been fascinated by one of the videos created for Dove’s Real Beauty campaign. It shows a woman getting a high-voltage beauty makeover, set against a great sound track. She is totally transformed, unrecognizable at the end. The kicker: “No wonder our perception of beauty is so distorted.”

The video was created by Unilever’s ad agency; then uploaded to YouTube where it has gotten nearly a million views. It has also been posted to an astonishing number of women’s blogs. (Yes it really makes a point most women can relate to.) The value to the Dove brand: incalculable.

Read Pete’s ClickZ case study. He calls this passalong phenomenon “consumer-fortified” media. I.e. it’s not consumer-generated per se (an agency created it). But bloggers spreading the video around have embedded it in a permanent digital trail that benefits the brand.

(Note: Unilever is a client of Nielsen BuzzMetrics.) 

Using his personal blog to make the point about why blogging matters

He finished our one-hour show by telling me how he uses his personal blog, Dos Bebes (about his now 15-month-old twins) to illustrate what makes the blogosphere tick: “the emotional gratification to be heard and to connect.” It works for individuals; it works for companies who want consumers to pay attention to their brand.

Be sure to tune in on Tuesday, Dec. 5th 2006 at 12 noon Pacific to hear Pete Blackshaw live on The Corporate Blogging Show.