Content drive works for GE

12 August 2013

NEW YORK: General Electric, the US conglomerate, is adopting the mindset of a publisher to leverage its strengths as a "storyteller".

Alongside boasting an in-house content marketing and social media team of four people, GE now holds weekly editorial meetings featuring all the agencies involved in producing and managing its output in these areas.

This group includes BBDO, Group SJR, Mekanism, Starcom, The Barbarian Group and Vayner Media, and meetings can include up to 40 people.

"When you look at everything that GE does - look at the scale and technology - you see that we have this incredible latitude to be out there as a storyteller," Paul Marcum, GE's director for global digital marketing and programming, told Digiday.

"Our interests are incredibly well aligned with many different folks out there online who are interested in science, mathematics and engineering, data, aviation, health care, policy and all the other aspects of being an organization to this scale."

Among its recent initiatives was "Pi Day" on March 14. When the date and time together read 3:14:59, the first five digits of Pi, the firm sent out 314 messages to members of Twitter accompanied by the #PiDay hashtag.

This activity was accompanied by a sponsored article on BuzzFeed, the social content platform, entitled "25 Geeky Math Jokes to Celebrate Pi Day", and GE flagged up both these efforts on its corporate blog.

It also regularly champions different inventors. One example of this was using Twitter on Inventor's Day in February, asking consumers to come up with interesting ideas using the #IWantToInvent label.

Blueprints for some of the most interesting suggestions, such as a solar-powered hoverboard and scuba-diving suit for horses, were drawn up and posted on the site.

Elsewhere, two of the organisation's leading blogs - Txchnologist on Tumblr and the official GE Reports - feature posts from numerous internal and external specialists.

Alongside these platforms, GE has a presence on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Vine, and was one of the first operators to use the last of these platforms with its #6secondscience campaign.

"What we find when we do our polling is that the more that people understand the company, the more they want to do business with us, work for us and buy our stock," said Linda Boff, GE's executive director, global digital marketing.

Data sourced from Digiday; additional content by Warc staff