Blogs Become the Social Tool for Public Rant; are Cellcos Listening?

As the tweets and status updates continue to rise, the proven platform of web logs, or blogs, hold cult status among the online Johns and Janes who wish to have their rants and rumblings heard.

The greatest positive that blogs have managed to bring to our now busy social lives is the ability to focus on a particular subject matter and have a logical discussion, rather than a 160 character shout that may be ‘followed’ or ‘liked’ by many, but not by the entity that matters.

Pakistan’s cellular industry in the recent year or so has ramped up its use of the online social media platform; more so for advertising and promoting its product portfolio, but also for incorporating some form of dialogue with consumers, essentially the weblic (public of the web).

It is a tried and tested method that large corporations have been using for years in the developed world, as an avenue to adopt future strategies in line with customer needs.

But while PR members remain glued to the latest chirps and whispers about their organization, very few take an active overview of the many blogs and articles offering coherent and logical arguments on various matters related to the company’s offerings.

This is irrespective of the fact that most respected analysts and professionals have for long used blogs to provide perspective on problems faced by the telecommunication industry and possible solutions.

The crux of the entire debate is on an organization having a ‘consumer-centric approach’ to its business. In the exciting world of Pakistan’s telecommunication industry, cellular companies have remained fixated to a ‘we know all’ view, without addressing any particular needs or resolving issues that have plagued the networks for ages.

While each cellular operator has established a network of service centers and franchises, the leap towards modern-day tools has been slow. This is despite the fact that internet users in Pakistan have grown at an exponential pace and the balance of population has shifted towards the tech-savvy youth.

It is this generation which is becoming the new target market for the cellular organizations, without them realizing that these individuals are very hard to please. Most blogs on the technology and cellular industry are created, administered and populated by individuals of this very same age bracket.

Strangely, none of the local 5 cellular giants has yet taken the initiative to launch a blog of their own and offer an informal representation of their plans in a bid to seek customer feedback. This distance relationship between the corporate entities and the consumer continues to hamper the real direction that the industry is moving towards in the long-term.

One does not expect Pakistan’s cellular industry to replicate the sector of any other nation; however, with the large level of criticism and complaints that exist in our consumer block, it would be logical for the companies to take an active approach towards their weblic and encourage loyalty in return for an open and interactive environment.

After all, if the company can claim to be ‘Apna’, or consider my package plan to be ‘about U’ or ‘Ain Mutabiq’ to my requirements, then it will only be my ‘Life ka network’ if I know that by ‘Saying it All’, there is someone listening on the other side and giving some thought to it.