Earlier today, I had the good fortune to attend Blogwell sponsored by Gaspedal. This conference is moving around the USA and working upon helping one better understand social media usage as practiced by large corporations. In the true spirit of non disclosure you need to know that one of the presenters (Heather Oldani from McDonalds) gave me a free coupon for their new Angus Burger. Thus, if this blog post were about McDonalds, it might be considered a paid advertisement (as if $3.99 for a bacon cheeseburger could buy my good will). However, other that to note McDonalds is doing some good work in the social media world, I choose to focus upon Ford Motor Company and Scott Monty. Alas, Scott has not offered me even a free oil change ... let alone a rebate. Before I give my impressions of Scott's presentation, you need to understand that he is not your normal auto executive ... whatever that is. Scott about broke my hand with his handshake when I met him before the event, and then proceeded on stage wearing a cream colored suit, beige saddle shoes, and a silk handkerchief in his breast pocket. In short, Scott was not what I expect out of an old line Detroit manufacturer ... albeit the only one to avoid bankruptcy.
Mr. Monty is Ford's social media department of one ... soon to be two on Monday. However, if a stoic old line manufacturer wanted to convince me they were doing things differently, he is a great start. Now if would be great to just eliminate Scott as an anomaly at Ford, but he actually showed us a YouTube video of their CEO, Allan Mulally, using Twitter. This made me think, something was up with Ford, and they really want to engage with their customer. See below ... the video is less than 4 minutes long ... and the video is not your normal CEO interview by any means:
At some time in the near future you will be able to watch Scott Monty's presentation (the video) via the BlogWell site. However, in the interim you can view his slides on Slideshare.Net ... Zero to 60, Ford's Social Media Story
Okay ... I work for a large industrial company ... and if it isn't obvious, I was impressed with Scott and and his story. After his presentation I asked him about Ford's plans to open blogging and social media sites to Ford's engineering work force. As Scott states, Ford wants to let the nerds and geeks communicate directly with the customer. This sounds great, so I am now challenging Scott Monty to comment about his company's plans in this area, and then come back and re-comment with a url when the Ford engineers come online. That will be cool!