Editor's note: Welcome to the fifty-sixth in our series of PowerBlog Reviews of business weblogs.
Security Awareness for Ma, Pa and the Corporate Clueless is a blog by the Security Awareness Company, headquartered in Seminole, Florida, USA. The company teaches computer users to combat security threats with personal knowledge and not to just rely on technology, by becoming "security aware" about avoiding viruses, managing passwords and protecting vital information.
The company views the blog as the central piece in their guerrilla marketing strategy on the internet. The company is in the training and education business. Having a blog to publish content is central to the company's business. Greg Hoffman, the Chief Marketing Officer of the company tells me:
"Our CEO, Winn Schwartau, is a legendary expert in the Computer Security Industry. For the last twenty years, Winn has written more than a dozen books and thousands of articles on topics ranging from Information Warfare to Internet ethics for kids. We needed to find a vehicle for all of this accumulated content and give computer users tips and tricks about how to protect themselves. The blog has become a central publishing house for security awareness content." The company is in the business of selling training and education, yet it gives away considerable content through the blog.
The posts are a combination of current news items about computer and cyber security, and mini-tutorials on topics such as "What's a virus?" They strive to give a balanced view of the topic of security. For instance, there is a post that points out that not all hackers are bad.
The blog also features guest posts by bloggers with special expertise, including this post on resume fraud.
The company combines the blog with a newsletter, not in place of the newsletter. They also offer RSS feeds as a third strategy for delivering their messages and connecting with prospects and customers. The blog always features prominently in the monthly newsletter.
They use an interesting way to integrate the blog with their commercial website. On the blog is a graphic that looks like a school chalkboard advertising online security courses for $5.00 each. The graphic links directly to the online courses. I don't know how many courses the company sells through the blog, but at $5.00 it has to be close to an impulse buy, so presumably they would sell well.
To attract traffic to its blog the company has used a combination of techniques. They submitted the blog for various awards and recognitions, including USA Today for which they were named as a Hot Site. They also cross-link with relevant-topic blogs and sites.
I asked Greg his advice for newbie bloggers. He says to make sure the content is something the target audience cares about, and stick to the message. But at the same time, listen to your audience and adapt accordingly. He also advises coming up with a plan and a schedule for blogging.
The Power: The Power of Security Awareness for Ma, Pa and the Corporate Clueless blog is in the way it is central to the company's online strategy as a place to house writings on computer security. They've turned it into an unintimidating, welcoming place for those without technical knowledge.