[NOTE: Two of the Goodwill Ambassabloggers have turned in the following post about their first-hand experiences in employee blogging as a special message for attendees of the annual convention of the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO), which is taking place this week in South Lake Tahoe, California. At the conference, a presentation about the airport’s Goodwill Ambassador Program and the Goodwill Ambassablog was shared with public information officials from several California cities and agencies.]
Blogging for the Airport Authority’s Goodwill Ambassador Program has been a great experience. At first I was concerned that I’d run out of ideas or material that would be blog-worthy, but once I started thinking about it I found inspiration everywhere. At San Diego International Airport, I find ideas all over. The blog gives me the chance to ask questions and explore areas of the Authority that I may not have previously known about. The blog is about relaying quality information to airport staff, friends, families and the community.
Here are a few tips that I’d share for first-time bloggers:
- Don’t be afraid to use your own “voice”. I want people who read the blog that these are really my thoughts and feelings.
- Show synergies. I love to draw multiple departments into one posting to show how what one department does influences another (ie- Hablamos Espanol Ahora explains how the programs that Training & Organizational Development help me out in Airport Planning).
- Use graphics, photos and hyperlinks. A picture is worth a thousand words, let people explore what interests them.
- Involve as many people as you can. My co-workers have all jumped at the opportunity to get involved in my postings.
- Have fun. If you feel like doing posts has become a “chore” it is time to take a fresh approach.
From Ambassablogger Dennise:
When I first received the request to participate as one of the original employee bloggers for San Diego international Airport, I was a little intimidated! My first reaction was: “I don’t even know what a blog is!” Well, I can tell you all, it has been one of the best projects I’ve had the opportunity to participate in at the Airport Authority!
When I heard that the purpose of the blog was to help educate my co-workers, as well as the public (even though this was the part that scared me the most!) I knew I definitely wanted to be a part of this project. I decided I wanted to be able to encourage people to have a dialogue with us. On that note, it’s not all a piece of cake: I’m still trying to figure out how to write posts that encourage our readers to give us more feedback.
The two accomplishments I’m most proud of as a Goodwill Ambassablogger are:
- The TSA asking us if they could republish in their local employee newsletter a Goodwill Ambassablog post I wrote about them: ‘TSA has a heart’
- Southwest Airlines putting a direct link to the Goodwill Ambassablog in the ‘Link Luv’ section of their wildly popular employee blog, Nuts About Southwest! As those familiar with the blogosphere know, getting linked like that to a very successful blog is a sure way to drive more traffic to your own blog. This came about as a result of posts on the Ambassablog (and comments generated by those posts) regarding Southwest Airlines, like the one Ryan wrote about their new boarding procedures, and the one I wrote about the different kinds of visitors coming to our blog.
It’s an amazing feeling when you realize you can create these wonderful, unique ties with other organizations that are your agency’s important partners, like the TSA and Southwest Airlines are for our airport (Southwest is our biggest carrier, responsible for more than a third of all passenger traffic at SDIA). And it’s not only about connecting with entities in your same industry, but also with people globally. I believe there is so much more to learn and discover – and so many more ties to build. We’ll find some in places we’d least expect!
When it comes to employee blogging, the best tip I can leave with you, and your fellow employees, is to believe in yourselves. What you and they have to say is important, and an employee blog can be a suprisingly effective and beneficial way to say it. With our voices, we can each make a difference – where we work and in the lives of others!
Filed under: RYAN and DENNISE (joint post) |