I spoke with Stephanie Rogers today about transparency. She is the Director of Interactive Strategy at PARTNERS + Simons and was extremely helpful in providing specific, pragmatic ways to help clients understand the need for transparency in their communications. We recorded the interview via BlogTalkRadio and you can hear it here:
Some of the pragmatic initiatives she mentioned involved creating a corporate blogging policy for a company, along with a code of conduct. I've heard of other folks using the blogging policy (rules for employees; what they can/can't blog about, netiquette, etc.) but the code of conduct was a newish idea for me. Stephanie's point for creating this was that you could post this code of conduct (a call to act in a civil manner, no abusive/harsh language) and if people transgressed it, you had fair reason to yank their posting privileges.
In terms of good case studies, re: transparency, Stephanie mentioned Homegoods.com and how she had helped train five new bloggers (folks who hadn't blogged before). Over 20,000 people had tried to get these five slots, and Homegoods inspires huge brand loyalty. These "passionistas" point out the value of letting your customers speak for you/your brand when you give them an avenue to do so.
Thanks to Stephanie for a great interview and I highly recommend her/her firm for great ideas on how to successfully build/market your brand. Her personal site, The Culture Junkie, is also a great read and provides more insights into marketing from a more personal point of view.
-John C. Havens