I’m not a beer drinker. Nor do I play one on TV. However, I’m impressed with Miller Brewing Company’s sponsored beer blog as one of the best examples (that I’m aware of) of how to strategically utilize this tool in an organization’s overall marketing efforts.
Miller clearly states its sponsorship on the blog’s home page – immediately winning points for being upfront and for not trying to hide its support as other corporate efforts have tried (unsuccessfully) to pull off. It’s credibility as an industry blog, versus a company one, is underscored by the fact that beat reporters of major outlets covering the industry include it as a key source for story ideas.
And how about the fact that Miller’s nemesis, Anheuser-Busch, pitches stories about itself to the blog?
The blog is also having an impact on the beer industry trade press, such as Beer Business Daily, which sees the blog as undermining the viability of all the beer trade press. Its reaction is to write fewer positive stories about Miller, knowing that they will quickly be posted to the blog.
While there are ample self-serving posts as well as those that overtly go after Anheuser-Busch, the Brew Blog and the role it appears to have in Miller’s overall marketing strategy is ahead of where most organizations are in the understanding, use and integration of this powerful communications tool.