Follow Up: Ogilvy’s Open Room – Too Harsh On The Companies?

Going through the name cards I exchanged from tonight’s event, I count four from Ogilvy, one from SMU and Nadia’s. (Note: no companies)

Looking around the blogosphere on ping.sg, there are four posts from Jean, Ian, Ridz and Plaktoz (for now). Now I don’t mean to go back to flogging a dead horse, but there is little to no brand coverage. The blog posts are either on the fellow bloggers they met, or the stuff in the goodie bags.

I don’t know about you, but I think there are bigger and better products to get people excited about and posting images (and generating media about) than collaterals in goodie bags.

I don’t mean to be critical or harsh on companies. But I think if you’re paying money to engage an agency to do your PR/marketing/advertising/whatever, and they do something like this (certainly with people like John Bell and Brian and Tania who know what they’re doing), then you really need to make the most out of it and bring some value back to the office.

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15 Responses to “Follow Up: Ogilvy’s Open Room – Too Harsh On The Companies?”

  1. brian Says:

    what an awesome observation, the evidence for networking is in the namecards -)

    perhaps we need to think of some novel ways to introduce clients to bloggers, get ourselves out of the old way of doing PR and Marketing -)

  2. claudia Says:

    Were there no interaction at all with the products showcased at the event or the companies present? I’m sure it all depends on how the blogger wants to present his/her entry ya? If you’re there to find out more about the products/companies, u’ll eventually be blogging about it no matter if the companies were interacting alot/little with the bloggers.

    Blogging is still personal. So its up to individual which aspect they would like to cover for the event ba. 🙂 I’m sure there’ll be more of such events comings up. So its all going to be a learning journey for everyone.

  3. Miccheng Says:

    I think its not just about getting “brand mentions” in the blog posts. I guess the photos do say a thousand words.

    Honestly, who cares abt big new products when u can’t take them home or play with them (or camwhore with them). Gimme the freebies anytime. 😀

    I’m sure the companies do relish the fact that their brand name and logo are now emblazoned on 4 top-ranked bloggers on the biggest blog aggregator in Singapore. Advertising the companies got for close to nothing – the goodie bag items were probably excess supplies from another PR event. It doesn’t hurt to keep reinforcing your brand identity this way.

    Your blog post on the other hand.. no photos lah… leaves much to be desired… ha ha… 😀 kidding.

  4. Daryl Tay Says:

    @Brian: Maybe they need more drinks in them!

    @Claudia: There was, but it was minimal. Like I went over to check out the Canon cameras but there was like NO ONE there? Of course blogging is personal, that’s why I’m blogging from a company’s point of view. There were at least 20 bloggers there for them to choose from, but no steps were made or taken to engage them. Putting a product there and sitting back and saying “ok I hope someone blogs about this” just isn’t going to cut it in terms of time invested and ROI.

    @Mic: They did have stuff there to play with. But they were just left there (most of the time). I have to disagree about the brand name and logo thing. It may be a short term awareness thing, but I think in social media it has to be about long term and relationships. And hey, there are pictures (okay one picture) in the earlier post! Never read my blog!

  5. Miccheng Says:

    @Daryl Tay: See…. you’ve left an impression on me that you dun put enuff picture. Lazy people like me have short term memory – i wouldn’t even bother to read the previous post unless there’s an explicit link – same goes for brand awareness… be in the mind space now or you’re out the next cycle.

    But i do agree that maybe more could have been done to hook the bloggers up to the companies.

  6. Tianhong Says:

    ok let me pose a question. If you were on their shoes, what do you need to do to make bloggers blog about your product?

    On the other hand, what is the incentive for you blogger to review the product?

    As what is mentioned by John Bell, it is still about building relationship first. Once you have relationship, it’s pretty easy to get bloggers to blog about it. Then what they need to do is to make things easy to blog.

  7. Ridz Says:

    Hmm…i think you’re being too harsh here. I think events that bring any number of different groups of people together should be aimed at creating people relations. And in this case, I think it’s quite a success that the bloggers actually managed to hold conversations with the company representatives(Unlike some other sessions where people are just sizing you up for what you’re worth to them).

    I’d say if anyone at the event had tried to push their products to me, sure they’d get a mention from a blogger – but one that would probably be blasting at them for trying to shove a product in their face.

    If anything, i’m sure the initial conversations, exchanging of contacts and most importantly, the continual engagement between those representatives and the bloggers will be the ones that will be of most value to both sides.

    As for the product displays?…I think, at best, they serve as conversation starters. 🙂

    Just my 2cents worth. 🙂

  8. Daryl Tay Says:

    @Miccheng: Haha that’s true though. But the things I blog about don’t require pictures! But noted, must try to put more in future.

    @Tianhong: We’re on a slightly different page. I don’t really mean blogging about their products that were there per se. It’s like when I met the HP people, they didn’t mention a single product to me (in fact I mentioned all of theirs), but I was talking to them, as people. And it’s exactly right that the first step is the relationship, but I didn’t see much of that first step being taken earlier today (except from the bloggers). But that could’ve just been me. Did you meet any?

    @Ridz: Hmm. My earlier post said I want them to talk to me, not pitch to me. As Tianhong says, build that relationship first. My main issue is that I saw very little of that, which suggests to me that companies aren’t fully ready for these meetings yet. Also, you’re right about the product displays. I think that’s exactly what they’re meant to be for. That’s why I was mildly surprised when I picked up the Canon camera, and the lady there said she was just taking care of it. So…. who do I have a conversation with?

  9. DK Says:

    I thought the whole idea of tonight’s event was a networking event. So the focus will be more on the people rather than brands/products.

    I think if companies want their products to be featured, they should have their own events (Perhaps organised by PR companies). That way, the focus will be on the product/branding itself and not on the networking event.

  10. Ridz Says:

    ah icic…I guess had generally good responses from most of them…

    As for the Canon section…That was the only booth I skipped because, well, I wasn’t too interested in cameras and I didn’t want to ‘pretend’ to be interested. heh

    But a thought just came to mind. This whole episode highlights the struggle of both bloggers and companies trying to understand each other…And as much as everyone is taking a step forward, what are the important questions both sides should be asking?

  11. Daphne Maia Says:

    ah, looks like i missed out on a networking event. hmm, i think sometimes the lack of networking with the right people is the fault of both parties – the companies and the blogger.

    bloggers tend to intra-network! er, which makes u think, what’s the point, because we all know each other already.

    and companies may send the wrong people to these events. i’ve met company reps that are not pro-active at all in approaching bloggers / consumers. a taiwanese brand/marketing manager friend told me that PR/mktg/sales people are very tame here, unlike their more aggressive counterparts in taiwan. perhaps that’s true.

    in any case, i think the task that the company reps shd b focussed on for such events is to find out from bloggers where they blog, what they blog, and their styles. it would be good if these companies could have been provided with our blog URLs before going, so they can take a look at it.

    afterall, bloggers are THE new marketing tool, like it or not. sounds ugly, but yes, it’s an “i use you, you use me” thing. but i still feel bloggers hold more power. well. the prolific bloggers, anyway.

    and perhaps ogilvy missed out on inviting some bloggers who could’ve contributed better (as what i noted from reading the various blog posts).

  12. Daryl Tay Says:

    @DK: Yes it was, but did much of it happen?

    @Ridz: That’s a good question. Maybe that should be a new blog post altogether! My short answer would be: What value can I bring to the other party. Same question that both sides should be asking

    @Daphne: Right about intra-networking. I was definitely guilty of that (being new to the blogging scene) so I was interested to meet some ppl face to face. I also agree 100% with what the reps should be focused on. The BLOGGER! At least go back to the office with one or two bloggers that are a good fit for you/your brand, read more of his/her blog and then maybe engage further. But if they don’t take the first step of finding that out….. none of the subsequent steps will follow. And.. I’m not going to comment about inviting bloggers who could’ve contributed better, but at least for me, the most “buzzworthy” thing to talk about was indeed the goodie bag, so I guess that’s all they had to talk about. Love the comment, thanks =)

  13. brian Says:

    Hahaha, great stuff guys. It’s true, it wasn’t a place for companies to hawk their wares. The products that were on display were actually done not to talk about their products per se, but to meet you, the bloggers.

    And i can vouch for the clients that came to display their products, they did it to make the open room more fun, to have bloggers something to talk about and also.. find out what’s new or in their developments.

    I saw the TEch65 guys goo-ing and ga-ing over the many gadgets, and well.. they’re also a “not shy” bunch of people.

    But yeah! maybe networking this time round, lacking in some areas, but we’ll definitely be in touch to find out how to make the next one better! And you know us, Tweet us, drop us a line, email, comment.. whatever, send us love -))

  14. Sheylara.com » Blog Archive » Was I at Ogilvy’s The Open Room or not? Says:

    […] has all the intelligent stuff, times two, so go and read his blog and leave me to my chocolate bar now, […]

  15. Co-sojourners in review I « Highway of Life Says:

    […] didn’t introduce himself, guess this is what the bloggers were talking about – companies not knowing how to mix with bloggers? Anyways, this laptop is interesting, looks like an OLPC (One laptop per child) project, but I have […]

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