June 07, 2009

Transparency and Authenticity

As I become more familiar with the social media world, there are two words that I hear repeated time and again.

Transparency and authenticity.

The more time I spend engaging in various social media arenas and the more I hear about the importance of these two concepts within the social media world, the more I have thought about how they apply to me.

Clearly, they do.

I started this blog because “all the kewl kids are doing it,” but also because it’s a great way for me to share my love of cooking and cookbooks and whatnot with others in a way that allows them to engage on their own schedule. Otherwise, I fear that my friends, family and co-workers would have to listen to me talk about it all even more than they already do. And I would really like for them not to bludgeon me over the head to make me stop talking. (a thought that I’m sure has crossed someone’s mind at some point…)

In any case, because I believe in the importance of transparency and authenticity, I want to make sure I’m upfront with all of my readers.

First things first. This blog is my own personal space. I write it because I enjoy doing so. Period. Well, and to be perfectly honest, I like to talk. In case that wasn't already apparent.

All of my readers should also know that I work at ConAgra Foods where I’m part of the Corporate Communication team. As an employee of ConAgra Foods, I recognize the importance of using my company’s products whenever I can because brand loyalty matters.

I’m very lucky in the fact that I love so many of those products. For example, Ro*Tel. We make that. The fates surely smiled on us all when Ro*Tel was created. We also make Hunt’s Tomatoes, Rosarita’s, Gephardt Chili Powder, Peter Pan Peanut Butter, Ranch Style Beans, Luck’s Beans and many other products.

So when a recipe calls for an ingredient like canned tomatoes or peanut butter, I’m going to use the brand made by my company whenever possible.

However, in case you walk away thinking I’m loyal only to my company’s products, let me set the record straight.

I’m brand loyal to the core when it comes to other products too.

Just try to serve me a Pepsi after I’ve asked for a Coke. Not happening. In fact, I might kick you in the shins for insulting me in such a fashion. And if you think you could pry my Starbucks Venti Iced Coffee with two Splendas out of my hands, think again. And Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups… I love them. Love, love, love them. There is no substitute or comparable product in my opinion. And I’m pretty certain that some folks might have noticed my love of Bisquik. Jiffy Corn Bread ranks right up there too.

Anyhow… Enough about my love of various branded food products…

More to the point of this post is the fact that this is my attempt to be more transparent about what it is I do during the typical work day. This blog is my own space, but I would be stupid to claim or to believe that my 9-to-5 job doesn’t have an impact on me during non-work hours. I learn a lot about food, ingredients and cooking thanks to my job; and I’m proud of what I do.

However, that said, I want assure you that the opinions expressed within this blog are authentically my own and do not represent the opinion of my employer, ConAgra Foods. (i added that underlined bit of text on nov. 4, 2009, just to be clear on whose opinion are represented in this blog.) If I don’t believe it, I’m not writing it. Period. That is my promise to myself and to you.

I hope you’ll let me know if you have any questions or suggestions regarding how I can ensure the transparency and authenticity of The Omaha Chronicles.

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