One of the pioneering organizations that ventured into the embryonic blogosphere in the early days of social media was Dell with its Direct2Dell corporate blog.
Launched in 2006, Direct2Dell gained early praise for its authenticity and transparency in how it enabled the company to engage with customers, fans and critics during a challenging time for Dell in customer relationship management in what became widely known as “Dell Hell.”
In the ensuing years under the leadership of Chief Blogger, Lionel Menchaca – who has been a frequent guest on FIR podcasts – Direct2Dell evolved and developed as a credible place on the social web for many individual voices to tell Dell’s story.
Now Direct2Dell embarks on a new chapter with the transition into the role of Chief Blogger by long-time Dell communicator, Laura Thomas.
In this FIR Interview, co-hosts Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz discuss the transition with Laura, who talks of her vision and plans for Direct2Dell as a “new era,” expressed in detail in Dell’s Blog Manifesto, a guide for internal use that Dell has made public (embedded below).
Topics discussed in the interview include Laura’s desire to gain reader feedback (via an informal online survey) as a foundational step that will influence Direct2Dell’s development; and discussion on specific elements in the Blog Manifesto such as editorial policy for contributors and guidance on developing effective content.
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About our Conversation Partner
Laura Pevehouse Thomas has been part of the Dell organization for 13 years playing various roles in corporate communications, employee communications, public relations, community affairs, marketing, branding, social media and other online communication.
Laura is currently Chief Blogger for Direct2Dell.com, Dell’s official corporate blog that she helped launch in 2007. As part of Dell’s Corporate Communications team, she previously focused on Global Commercial Channels and US Small and Medium Business public relations. Prior to that, she was responsible for global strategy in social media and community management, as well as marcom landing pages, as a member of Dell’s Global SMB Marketing, Brand and Creative team.
When she was part of Dell’s Global Online group, Laura provided internal consulting that integrated online and social media opportunities with a focus on Corporate Communications and Investor Relations. She managed the home page of Dell.com, one of the top 500 global web sites in Alexa traffic rank, and first brought web feeds and podcasts to the ecommerce site. In her spare time she led Dell into the metaverse with the creation of Dell Island in Second Life.
Laura has earned the designation of Accredited Business Communicator from the International Association of Business Communicators, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Louisiana State University. Before joining Dell Financial Services in 2000, she worked at the Texas Workforce Commission and PepsiCo Food Systems Worldwide.
- Connect with Laura on Twitter: @LPT.
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This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.
(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)