Monday, June 19, 2006

CSN Corporate Blog

So a couple weeks ago after we had the lecture from Jim Nail about how to handle negative WOM on corporate blogging I pitched the idea to my co-op company, CSN Stores, of creating a corporate blog. I put together a lot of information for them about various companies who have employed corporate blogging in the past, as well as a number of guides and suggestions for starting and maintaining corporate blogs. I am proud to say that they were very excited about the idea and they thought it would fit in well with our corporate culture.

CSN Stores is a sepcialty retailer that focuses on niche markets in order to offer the widest selection and best service. The idea behind their corporate strategy is that by specializing in several markets instead of having a giant superstore they can specialize and carry the largest selection in each market. I've worked with them for about a year now and it is incredible how much and how quickly the company has grown. If you're looking for dorm furniture or any furniture for that matter they have an incredible selection. Also they have a huge Racks and Stands store which has all sorts of cool and convenient ways to store CD's, DVD's, etc. (very useful when you are trying to save space in your apartment). Another really cool thing about the company that most people don't know is that if you call into the customer service line and ask for a discount they will almost always give you one. They also participate in price matching which means that if you find a product on a website you don't trust but it is the cheapest price you've found, you can call into customer service and they will match the price for you.

Just another note concerning the company, I know they are still accepting co-op's for the co-op round starting July 5th (The day after the 4th of July unfortunately). The work can be a little tedious at times (very repetitive depending on the project you are assigned) however everyone is really young and they frequently have free open bars, free lunch, celtics/red sox/bruins tickets throughout the year, and they pay very competitavely especially for a communications co-op. I know a couple people in class are stuck for co-ops for the next round so if anyone would like their contact information let me know and i can get it to you.

Anyway, I am very excited about the prospect of helping CSN design a corporate blog. In case anyone is interested I found some really great resources on corporate blogging on the Cymfony Knowledge Center website if anyone needs any information on blogging or is just interested in learning more; you should definately check it out.


Hillary said...

That is definately exciting news! I am a former co-op of CSN and they love new and innovative ideas and they will most definately implement ideas and such that people come up with. That was one of the coolest components of working there in my opinion. They were completely open to feedback and suggestions made by co-ops. They genuinely cared about what we thought. Most of the people employed there full time are not any more than five or so years older than the co-ops, so usually there no awkward divide.
That's cool that you came up with this idea of corporate blogging for them and I bet they are psyched to get feedback like that from young students. They really like to utilize Northeastern students' perspectives.

I also reccommend anyone looking for a co-op to apply.

Jesols said...

Ironically, I applied to CSN stores, was accepted but declined the job offer to work at a healtcare consulting firm for my next co-op. But one of the things that I really liked about CSN was thier total openess (literally and figuratively). For those of you who don't know, they own an entire floor in the Pru, and their office is completely open. While they were walking me around the office, they were explaining how the owners sit on the floor with everyone. I came away from the interview with a great sense of how transparent, open and friendly the office was. I could definately see how a blog would fit into the corporate culture.

Kennie Swanson said...

As a veteran CSN-er (been there about a year now), this is a very interesting idea. "Couture", I think i know who you are, but i didn't want to disclose your secret identity, are they considering to promote you to corporate blogging position? That would be a pretty fun job, and it definitely would fit in great with the culture of the company.

CSN strives very hard on customer service (not to butter my own toast, but I'm one of those distinguished representatives) and I really think customer's would be interested in reading the blog. Online furniture shoppers are constantly looking for reviews or further information before making big purchases online, and a blog would certainly make them feel more comfertable shopping with us. Also, it would serve as a great tool to get feedback from the consumers themselves, as well as advertise our image and products on our side of the pendulum. I am very interested to see where this idea goes. :)

couture said...

Hey Kennie. First, I didn't know that you were still employed at CSN. I feel like no one from our co-op rotation ever left! You should say something to them about how you think a blog would work for them. They are so busy right now and I want to convince the head of marketing that this is something that would really be simple and beneficial.

ericrocksmyworld said...

OK, so from my count, about 110% of our class works/ed for CSN. This worked out well for me, because thanks to you guys, I heard about the company and interviewed with them. So the company was already benefiting from WOM even before implementing a blog. Also, some of you were nice enough to recommend me for a job there, so I too got a boost from WOM. Very symbiotic. I think blogging does sound like it will be a logical progression for them, since they are already benefiting from less organized WOM.

kenw said...

It's a beautiful thing when a class gets you ahead in a company. I can't beleive that the managers over at CSN haven't looked into a corporate blog already. For that matter, it seems crazy that any major corporation hasn't taken stpes to include consumers in the discussion about their products/services. How does any organization justify not having an open forum with consumers in today's world? I definately think you should push this idea among the marketing staff at CSN--it's a simple way to greatly increase transparency and customer trust.

Anonymous said...

It was very interesting reading everyone's posts. I'm in no way related to CSN or involved in the co-op but I would be very interested in speaking to someone who works at CSN or has worked there, as I'm doing research for a paper involving new online retailers. I'm a graduate student at Thunderbird, Garvin School for Int'l Management. Any help would be greatly appreciated. My name is Allen Mederos, is my email.