Boeing: Obi-Wan and Boeing — Live from BlogWell

1:30 — Kurt Vanderah introduces Boeing’s Communications Director, Todd Blecher. Todd will talk about Boeing online communication approach and its evolution: Obi-Wan and Boeing.

1:36 — Todd offers a give away to the audience” “You must do what you feel is right, of course” belongs to what context of Star Wars, Epidose IV?  Person in the audience responds and wins a Plane Model.

1:37 – Todd explains this quote relates to that moment in the movie when Skywalker is deciding what to do with his life.  This expresses life-changing moments. It portraits what Boeing went through over the last year.

1:38 — Todd talks about what’s right for Boeing in digital media, including these interventions:

1:41 — Todd:  “In order to do this right we need to change the tone of our content”. Boeing wants to become personal and interesting vs. technical and boring. The challenge is to humanize Boeing and own mindful brand attributes.

1:42 — Todd says the website content has been running for 3 weeks now. Twitter is a great communication tool. It is not open to all employees.

1:44 — Todd: We really need to humanize Boeing, we are not just trying to sale airplanes… it is about building a reputation so then people want to make business with us

1:45 — Todd talks about Boeing Journey to change their communication strategy. He shows a picture of how looked like before, and mentions: “This looks ugly”. This is what they were showing to a million people per month. They didn’t take anything away from their website, they did just an “extension of the house” new kitchen, new wallpaper, new decoration, they went for a 70% solution. The new is about to being launched.

1:48 — Todd: In the new Boeing website the content is what is going to set us apart. It includes stories of our people; we would have not told the story of a spatial engineer in the past.

1:50 — Todd: The essence of any organization is the people… We want our audiences to recognize the talent of the people putting those planes into the sky”.

1:51 — Todd talks about Boeing’s new communication strategy, where business will come from building reputation rooted into the talent of the people working at Boeing.

1:52 — Todd: “What is right for Boeing, is not right for everybody”.

1:54 — Todd: Success will take time; evaluate early results at 6 months and 1 year.


Q: Susan Garnel from Well Fargo: Are you doing anything to drive the viral element at your site?

A: Todd: We have added share options under any story so people can retweet or share in other platforms. Our more successful story is “Freezin’ in Florida”, which has been shared more than 50,000 times. This is an amazing result for Boeing.

Q: For your company, do you produce all the content for your communication or do you solicit ideas from your employees?

A: Todd: We do solicit content but all content will have communication involvement.

Q: Who is your target audience and has it changed over time? Is it consumer marketing or corporate clients?

A: Todd: It is all of the above, although it sounds counter-intuitive. Airplane decisions are pretty long term and have a lot of elements that have nothing involved with what you can put on a website. You can drive some consumer sentiment, but this is also long term. So we intended to do this from the reputation perspective. Everyone wants to drive confidence as a brand benefit, this is what will drive business in the long-term. We are going to get on Facebook for a Boeing Store, that is directly connected to business. But our main objective is to build reputation.

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