O2 joins forces with Indo on business blog

2 Dec 2009

O2 has signed the first online deal of its kind with the Irish Independent, which links the O2 Ideas Room to the newspaper’s online business news.

Telefónica O2 Ireland has launched a new business blog designed to encourage small and medium-sized businesses to talk to each other in new ways.

The O2 Ideas Room is a blog geared towards businesses, offering expert advice from other specialists, ranging from marketing and sales to HR and finance.

Community online

“With the O2 Ideas Room we want to create an online community where businesses, large and small, can access free expert information of value to their organisation but also contribute to the blog themselves, either through online discussions or by posting an article,” commented Jonnie Cahill, head of Communications & Sponsorship, Telefónica O2 Ireland.

He added, “As well as accessing business advice free of charge, the O2 Ideas Room provides businesses with a platform to engage with other businesses, blogging without having to create their own blog, and build their online profile by contributing to the discussions.”

Research conducted by O2 in 2008 found that just 6pc of Irish SMEs had a business blog.

However, according to a recent report (published 5 October, 2009) by Deloitte LLP, 94pc of enterprises plan to maintain or increase investment in social-media tools and online communities, while only 6pc plan to decrease investment. 

Potential of social media

Deloitte said that while enterprises are effectively using online tools to engage with customers, partners and employees for brand discussion and idea generation, organisations are continuing to struggle with harnessing social media’s full potential.

The Deloitte study suggested that top business objectives and benefits of online communities include: increased word-of-mouth, customer loyalty, brand awareness and idea generation.

“With the O2 blog we want to provide more than just telecommunications advice,” Cahill said.

“We are going one step further to enable businesses to connect with each other and to share comments and ideas on how to be successful. It is also an easy way for SMEs to start to try out social-media marketing tools. We are looking for business blog contributions and many of our contributors are first-time bloggers,” Cahill concluded.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years