Emerson Process Makes a Virtual Handshake

For those of you tracking corporate blogging among the Fortune 500, Emerson Process Management, a subsidiary of Emerson (NYSE:EMR), is now blogging both internally and externally at EmersonProcessXperts.com.

This is exactly what a corporate blogging initiative should look like. The blog features posts on:

How Emerson is addressing industry challenges:
Building Operator Experience
Complying with International Safety Standard IEC 61511

Customer service success stories:
Identifying Sugar Mill Turbine Instability Causes
Stabilization Expertise Needed ASAP

Summaries of discussions in other venues:
Single Bus vs. Multi-bus Installations
Managing Hot Cutovers in Refineries

What I’m particularly impressed by with this blog are:

  • How well they are telling stories. I don’t know or care a thing about their industry, and yet I still found the stories engaging.
  • The signs that their employees (not just the lead blogger) are engaging in other venues. One of the points we make in the book is that you can’t just start your own conversation and expect everyone else to join — you have to join the conversation where it is already taking place.

The blog has been live less than a month and they’re already getting supportive comments from readers:

Great start. I just found the blog and will tell my readers. It looks just like what I’ve been asking the industry to do. Keep it up.

Now the back story…

I had the pleasure of meeting the internal champions of this initiative, Deb Franke and Jim Cahill, at last year’s The Blogging Enterprise conference here in Austin, where Deb told me that she had bought The Virtual Handshake, liked it so much that she had given it to her boss, and that it was a big source of inspiration for them in building support for their internal blogging initiative, which they were just starting.

Shortly after that, they bought 50 copies of The Virtual Handshake to distribute to all the people participating in the blogging initiative. Since their offices are about two miles from my house, I went and signed them all and had a great visit with them over lunch, sharing ideas about how they could move forward with their project. (And yes, if you’re in Austin, buy 50+ copies of the book and take me to lunch, I’ll give you some free consulting too!)

On February 28, I received the following e-mail from Deb Franke (posted with permission):

Jim and I are thrilled to share with you that we finally reached a milestone and now have the first external blog: http://www.EmersonProcessXperts.com. We believe with absolute certainty that our distribution of The Virtual Handshake in December made a big difference in getting approval for this external pilot. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

P.S. Last month we placed a second order of 50 copies and those are working the way around the organization as well.

Wow. That SO made my day/week/month/year! I didn’t write The Virtual Handshake to get rich and famous (though that would be nice). I wrote it to make a difference in the world — to help people understand this new era in communication. There’s nothing so gratifying for an author as to get a message like this.

Great job, Jim, Deb and all the folks at Emerson who supported this, and thanks for letting me play some small part in it. Welcome to the conversation!

UPDATE: I forgot to mention… talk about executive support — the new blog is featured prominently on the Emerson Process home page.