“I wish it had been my idea to start the blog, but it wasn’t,” admits Edward Jobson, the head of environmental affairs at Volvo Buses, with a smile.
He has been blogging on the Volvo Buses’ website since 2008, following a suggestion by the company’s communications department. He writes at least one post a week and has about 1,000 readers a day.
In his blog, analyses, graphs and tables are interspersed with his private holiday snaps and philosophical thoughts on global energy consumption. He draws the line with his family and never writes about his three daughters. He often discusses facts of which it is relevant for decision-making politicians to be aware. The most difficult thing is writing so that everyone understands.
“I want my blog to be easy to read and alive, but I can easily be blinded by terms and knowledge that are second nature to me, as I deal with them every day. Volvo Buses’ corporate communications department then helps me to make things easier to understand.”
As head of environmental affairs, he is responsible for following up environmental systems, monitoring trends and conducting a dialogue with the authorities and customers. He has cutting-edge skills, as he has a PhD in chemical engineering and is an adjunct professor of catalysis, but, thanks to his blog, an unexpected phenomenon has occurred. Edward Jobson now has broad-based direct contact with Volvo Buses’ customers.
“They find the blog when they are looking for information about buses, fuel consumption and environmental impact and they then contact me. When I receive a detailed question from a customer, I answer with a cc to a local salesperson and take the opportunity to phase him or her into the discussion,” he explains.
“I know that our customers appreciate my blog, as a large group subscribe to the posts. I publish concrete figures about fuel consumption and emissions and this is not usual among vehicle manufacturers.”
In addition to customers, his readers include Volvo sales staff, politicians and even competitors, Most of them find the blog by searching for words related to different topics on Google.
“Internally at Volvo, my blog also functions as an effective information channel. When I started blogging, I didn’t know what it would lead to, but it has had a far wider effect than I ever imagined.”
Edward Jobson’s blog can be found at: www.volvobuses.com/environmentblog