Q&A with a Corporate Blogger: Lindsay Lebresco, Graco

A good way to learn about a vital word of mouth tool — social media — is from the executives that run the blogs at the world’s biggest corporations. This week, we’re sitting down with them to get their thoughts about the broader issues and landscape of social media at the corporate level.

Lindsay Lebresco, Public Relations and Social Media Manager for Graco

Describe the key social media efforts at Graco?
1.  Listening to the online conversation
Quarterly conversation mining, constant reading of blogs and industry news to keep a pulse on our consumers and key influentials as well as how others are using social media, use of eResponder during issues, and now the introduction of customer service will have us listening for ways to reach out to our consumers.

2. Engaging with consumers online
Utilizing the entire team of blog contributors to go out in the blogosphere and engage with our consumers – go out to where they are- don’t make them come to us. The team does this by commenting on blogs, using Twitter, recognizing bloggers through our “Monthly Nod” program and lastly, meeting bloggers in-person through our Blogger Get-Together program which, we’ve found, builds really strong relationships.

3. Participating in the conversation with our own voice
Launching the Graco corporate blog has allowed us to have our own voice in the space. It has allowed us to say hello to folks and then point them back to hear more from us. The Graco blog is more of a parenting blog then it is a “corporate” blog but this not only connects well with what our consumers are already connecting with out in the blogosphere, it helps achieve our goal of gaining trust with consumers because we’re right there in the thick of it [as parents] just like our consumers.

What do you love most about your job?
I’ve done brand communications for almost 10 years now and my experience with social media has been the most fun by far. I love people so a job that allows me to interact with all of our consumers, hear their thoughts and needs and figure out the best way to serve them while serving my company is really a win-win.

What is the biggest challenge you face with social media?
The time it takes to be completely engaged and have a personal relationship with hundreds of people. To stay connected to everyone and feel like you know what’s going on with all your “key” contacts. I find it very difficult to get through my Google Reader.

Legal doesn’t make things too easy either!

What advice do you have for marketers just beginning to utilize social media?
Be slow, purposeful and simple in your approach. Know that social media is a long-term investment in your consumers. As you are ramping up everyone’s comfort levels with the use of social media, you can be ramping up your own strategies at the same time. This is very much a medium that requires you to find your way as you go. Be comfortable enough to adjust at any time – ramp up, slow down or dig in whenever necessary.

What are your favorite blogs?
The Birds Got the Word — It’s my husbands and it helps me feel more connected to what’s going on during the day while I’m talking about all this stuff!

Manager Mom — Hilarious mommy blogger!

Southwest Airlines — I love this corporate blog because it’s got a ton of great content and the “brand” is so apparent.

Parenthacks — Great quick, tips for parents and a lot of involvement from the whole community of readers


BlogWell - How Big Companies Use Social Media - San Jose, CA - October 28th Meet Lindsay at BlogWell on October 28 in San Jose, where she will be presenting a case study on Graco’s strategic approach to social media.

Get practical, how-to advice, a lesson in disclosure and corporate social media responsibility, and loads of ideas and examples – all for $200.

BlogWell is presented by GasPedal and the Blog Council.

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