The blog is the new resume – podcast

on August 27, 2008

For episode number seven of “Be the Voice” I talk with Paul Dunay, Global Director of Integrated Marketing at BearingPoint and prominent blogger at Buzz Marketing for Technology.

Summary (Paul Dunay):

  • The blog is the new resume
  • Starting a personal/professional blog can be your social media sandbox. Play with it and learn the tricks and traps before you launch something within your organization.
  • If you work at a large organization, you’re going to need to some corporate blogging guidelines. There are tons.
  • You want to grow your audience so write content to elicit conversation, not act as the voice of G-d telling people what’s right and wrong.
  • Pick your platform wisely. You don’t want to run into a situation where you’re on one platform (e.g. Blogger) and want to switch to another (e.g. WordPress) and you’re hesitant because the change in addressing will cause you to lose your “Google juice.”
  • The best way to get a blog audience is to follow the people you want following you.
  • When hosting a podcast, ask questions that will elicit honest responses to experiences rather than the talking points marketing wants to hit.
  • Veotag allows you to take advantage of podcasts’ shortcomings by bookmarking chapters throughout your program.
  • Know what’s on your audience’s minds and follow the news and the trends. To grab an audience always try to hook your editorial with the day’s headlines.

Full article:

Paul DunayBack in May I was working at The CMO Club, producing editorial coverage for the organization’s first ever conference specifically for high level marketing executives. One of the presenters I wrote about was Paul Dunay of BearingPoint who gave a fantastic presentation about putting social media into the mix for a total media/marketing campaign. I was really impressed with the total level of involvement BearingPoint was committing to social media. They weren’t just doing one blog and one social network, they were everywhere, with lots of content, contests, and conversations in many different locations. In some cases they were creating their own properties for content (e.g. New Thinking blog at BearingPoint), and in other cases they would open up discussion groups in locations where people were already congregating (e.g. on Facebook).

What Dunay orchestrated for BearingPoint didn’t come overnight. It all began when he started building his own voice through his own blog. I asked Dunay about how he began.

The blog is the new resume

Paul Dunay’s inspiration to write the Buzz Marketing for Technology blog came after reading Keith Ferrazzi’s book, Never Eat Alone. Specifically, Dunay pointed to Ferrazzi’s projection that “the blog would be the new resume” (honestly, Dunay couldn’t remember if the line was actually in the book or he just read that phrase between the lines).

From that advice, Dunay felt he should start writing a blog for his own professional growth. A good idea, but immediately he though, what am I going to do with this? “What kind of content can I create on an ongoing basis that would be an interesting conversation for most people,” Dunay asked himself as he started his blog. “I didn’t have a voice at that moment. [I] sort of started and hoped [I’d] figure it out down the line,” said Dunay, “For me it was a sandbox for me to play with a little bit before I introduced it internally.”

Following corporate blogging guidelines?

Dunay began his personal/professional blog without alerting anyone at BearingPoint. About a month into writing the blog they got wind of what he was doing and he got “the call” from corporate and they asked him, “‘Are you adhering to any sort of corporate guidelines around [the blog]?’ And of course I typed in ‘corporate blogging guidelines’ at the time to a Google search engine and came up with the IBM corporate blogging guidelines and I said, ‘Oh yes, I’m using the IBM corporate blogging guidelines.'” Not realizing he was winging his answer on the call, BearingPoint’s legal department was so happy that he was following some sort of official type guidelines that they asked him to send him a copy. And so Dunay, after seeing the IBM corporate blogging guidelines for the first time, downloaded them, and sent them off to BearingPoint’s legal department.

After that conversation, Dunay added the following copy on the front page of his blog to indicate the division between Paul Dunay the individual thought leader and Paul Dunay the consultant who works for BearingPoint.

“The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent BearingPoint’s positions, strategies or opinions.”

Developing a blogging strategy, and hooking readers

Dunay wanted to take charge of the social media strategy at BearingPoint and he knew the best way he was going to learn social media is just by doing it (How very “Nike” of him). There were two aspects of social media he needed to learn: the technical (e.g. how to set up a blog, how to configure an RSS feed, how to post a podcast) and the strategy. At the beginning, Dunay’s only “strategy” was to blog. Over time he thought about his audience, the buzz marketer, and how he should target them. Initially, Dunay was just giving advice on what they should specifically do to create “buzz.” But he quickly realized that came off as a “voice of G-d” telling you what you should do and it didn’t encourage conversation.

Dunay began to tweak his writing style to engage readers more in conversation. But to really hook people to read his posts he quickly realized that those first few words of his title were critical as they are the first words a search engine sees. Which is very true, although the way Dunay has his Blogger blog set up, the first words a search engine sees are actually AFTER the title of his blog, “Buzz Marketing for Technology.” Just prior to our interview, I had attended a WordCamp conference (a conference for WordPress users) whre SEO (search engine optimization) expert Stephen Spencer of Netconcepts recommended that bloggers put the title of their blog AFTER the blog post. This is the content that appears inside the <TITLE> tag of a blog post which gets indexed very highly on search engines. Luckily, for WordPress users, Spencer offered us a free plugin called SEO Title Tag that could do just that. Is there an equivalent plugin for Blogger?

Dunay and I then got into a discussion about the value and problems with migrating your blog to another platform. There are two ways to publish a blog. Publish it on the blog company’s servers or publish it on your own server. The advantage of the former is there’s no maintenance and it’s completely free. The disadvantage is you’re connected to their addressing system (e.g. While there are plenty of tools to migrate a blog from one platform to another (e.g. Blogger to WordPress) Dunay fears he’ll lose all his “Google juice,” because the addressing system will inevitably have to change. While you can bring over readers, it takes time for the search engines to rediscover your content.

“Pick your platform and your URL wisely,” advised Dunay who was having second thoughts about his blog being hosted on Blogger.

Build an audience for your blog by linking to others

Dunay said that developing an audience for his blog required linking to people, commenting on other blogs, and linking back to stuff on your blog that was relative to what they were saying. “The best way to get a blog audience is to follow the people you want following you,” recommended Dunay. It was even easier for Dunay because he would invite bloggers he liked to be interviewed for a podcast.

Dunay was posting two, maybe three times a week. Many of the people he followed were far more prolific than him. He thought of increasing his posting but realized he needed to create a balance with his work and that the schedule he created so far was sufficient.

BearingPoint has a blog as well now called New Thinking. All interactions with that blog – views, downloads, comments – are cross-referenced with other marketing that BearingPoint is doing. They’re tracking the audiences’ interest and interactions and responding. The information, updated weekly, is invaluable to them.

Dunay and I got into talking about link baiting techniques. For example, using lists or specifically going negative with posts that start “The Worst…” or the “The Biggest Mistakes…” BearingPoint does go negative for traffic, but they’re not so crass and have to be more politically judicious, so they’ll substitute the word “pitfalls” instead.

Taking advantage of podcasting’s shortcomings

Dunay admitted one of his greatest “pitfalls” came during his early days of podcasting. His first show, never actually published, was a disaster. He wrote a paper and hired a voice talent for $2,000 to read the paper into a microphone, and that was going to be his “podcast.” It didn’t sound like a show. It sounded more like a book on tape and he and his colleagues were horrified when they actually listened to it. Realizing that hiring talent to read podcasts was not going to be the solution, Dunay looked for another podcast format that was conversational and avoided the stilted premise of having a vendor come in and shill their product.

When I worked as a host of The Sprint podcast, I would often get marketing people as guests on the show. And marketing people can’t shut off that part of their brain that causes them to talk only in sales mode. They know their talking points and they can’t help themselves from repeating them. While hosting the podcast, I kept begging Sprint, please stop sending me marketing people, send me geeks to interview.

Dunay had a somewhat similar situation. While he didn’t get marketing people and got the geeks, the geeks were being trained or questioned with traditional marketing questions like, “What are the six implementation pitfalls?” Dunay shifted focus and started asking more qualitative questions such as “When you delivered this, what did the client say and what was the reaction internally?” It got around to the same point, but he realized that the medium (podcasting) was different than blogs or even video, and depending on which one you choose, “you have to design into each medium,” advised Dunay.

Dunay also confirmed something that I’ve seen time and time again about podcasting. I’m a very strong proponent and consumer of podcasts on my iPod. I subscribe to them, download them, and take them with me to listen to on my commute or when I’m working out, Problem is I’m in a severe minority. I keep seeing statistics that 70% of all podcasts are heard on the computer at the moment and not via a subscription like iTunes or on the iPod.

To facilitate that ‘listening at your computer experience, Dunay implemented Veotag’s technology on his podcasts which allows the publisher to title chapters of his podcast and let listeners skip to portions of the show. “They want the question they want answered, and that’s the end of it,” said Dunay realizing that sometimes listeners don’t want to hear his entire show. Other advantages of Veotag for podcasts is the tags improve SEO and he can run slides or video alongside the audio of the podcast.

Crafting your editorial to coincide with what’s on people’s minds now

The core of BearingPoint’s messaging is through its editorial. Building their editorial requires knowing the top concerns of their audience which revolve around issues of identity theft and personal privacy. To increase interest, BearingPoint carves its editorial to tie in their issues with topical news. For example, and admittedly not a good one but it gets the point across, BearingPoint might write a story, “What should Michael Phelps be concerned about with his presence on Facebook?” Hooking your editorial with top of mind issues increases your chances of being recognized.

A good trick to knowing what are top news stories is to follow social bookmarking sites such as Google Trends, Hitwise, Technorati, Techmeme, Digg, and Tailrank, to name a few.

Be like Dunay

For those of you just starting out, Dunay advises first and foremost that you just start. Like the lottery “You have to be in it to win it,” Dunay said. Once you start, follow what is and isn’t working. “What is getting the reaction compared to what isn’t getting the reaction,” Dunay said. If people are gravitating towards a certain subject, then build it out. Turn it into a multi-part series, invite others to comment and join in the conversation. Like any marketing you might do, success comes with time.

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