My Reckitt Benckiser yawn…

RB OPPORTUNITYQuite some time ago I received an email from a lovely account executive over at Shiny Red in London about a new social media campaign they’re developing for Reckitt Benckiser.

As a part of said new campaign they have developed an integrated social media strategy to raise awareness of the global opportunities that exist at the company. At the centre of the campaign is a new blog, ‘My RB Opportunity’ which aims to offer a window into the world of work at the company. The blog is written by nine graduate trainees from Reckitt Benckiser’s offices around the world, who are sharing their thoughts and experiences to offer prospective employees a real understanding of the diverse environment and reflect what it’s like to succeed in the company.

If you don’t know Reckitt Benckiser, they make all kinds of products like Detol, Veet, Strepsils etc. I understand from the email I received that  “this campaign has been created in order to demonstrate Reckitt Benckiser’s commitment to engaging with social media and that the blog is one part of an integrated campaign that encompasses everything from Linked In, to Facebook and Twitter”. I also assume that the email was sent to me so that I could review the blog and perhaps post on it. So I went to the blog and I checked it out.

My first question is: Why?. My second question is: Who?.  Why does it exist and who do you think is going to read it? I know that there are countless reality shows on cable at the moment which chronicle the lives of interns at Vogue or Marie Claire, young guns attempting to crawl up the Master Chef ladder or become the next apprentice. I guess the factor that makes those shows work is entertainment. Great script writing or strong polarising characters or great filming [and editing].

We do want to watch the interns at Vogue scratch eachother’s eyes out over who gets to go to the latest fashion show because they’re bitchy New Yorkers and that’s funny. We love Master Chef because it has some moderately big names and who doesn’t love cooking? And just maybe, we imagine that it could be us one day. We love to watch the Apprentice and others like it. But who would want to read the musings of a real intern at a large multinational corporate?

RB OPPORTUNITY 2They’re not going to write anything too interesting or be doing much except towing the line because they have jobs they want to keep. If they had hired a comedian or a particularly articulate journalist to write the copy, maybe I would read it. But as it is now, it’s a big black hole of corporate commentary about nothing much in particular. I appreciate that they’re trying to do something different and commend them for that. I’m just not sure what the point of it is.



A curious design-focused human with an insatiable appetite for learning driven by the endless desire to make things.

4 thoughts on “My Reckitt Benckiser yawn…

  1. So it’s essentially a company sponsored site that poeople who are thinking of working at RB can come to and have a more detailed look at what the company might be like? Then why do a blog that’s supposedly part of an integrated campaign with Linked In and Twitter and other social tools?

    If it’s purely for internal purposes, I’m also confused then as to why your agency is sending it out to bloggers for review . . ?

  2. Jen – as said by Jane = this is to provide a flavor of RB as employment opportunity not to enterntain people with “bitchy New Yorkers” eye scratching scenes. So I am not sure if you would expect more from such blog. The mild touch suerly comes from the fact it is company sponsored.

  3. Wow, you are generous. Me? I just binned the email and forgot about it.

    Unfortunately, many companies think that using social tools means that they are “doing” social media. A one sided conversation is exactly what you suggest – a yawn.

  4. I am also working with Reckitt Benckiser on this project and thought it would be useful to clarify some background and facts about the website.

    The blog was launched with the aim of reaching out to young career professionals, to raise awareness of RB as an employer.
    The aim isn’t to entertain. It is to give readers an insight into what working at RB entails – the sort of people they employ, how you are expected to achieve, what the culture is like there. Essentially so you can gauge whether you are an RB type of person.

    The intention is for the blog writers to take off their ‘corporate hat’ and be themselves (as opposed to the official voice of RB), to be more open and ‘human’, to connect, be useful and educate their target audience.

    It is still a very new enterprise and very much a work in progress so any feedback or comments are gratefully received.

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