*Cheah Shu Xu, G. V. Nair, P. Thinavan & Vincent Wee Eng Kim
It is evident that the advent of new media has transformed the way corporations communicate with their stakeholders. Stakeholder engagement using weblogs, Facebook, Twitter and others are now the norm rather than the exception. Current research bears evidence that several businesses such as the airlines and hotel industry are using weblogs to promote their brand and foster a community of business travellers. In the Malaysian context, AirAsia is the first local budget private airline to use weblog to undertake every single transaction with its customers, thereby making it pertinent to evaluate how customers perceive AirAsia’s weblog services. Three hypotheses which were tested are as follows: there is a positive correlation between customer perception of ease of use and effectiveness of the weblog’s publishing system; there is a positive correlation between customer perception of interactivity and effectiveness of weblog’s comment system and finally, there is a positive correlation between customer’s perception of trustworthiness and effectiveness of weblog’s blogroll and hyperlinks. This study used the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) based on previous studies by Sledgianowski & Kulviwat (2009); Ilie et. al. (2005) and Chiou (2004) to examine a weblog’s effectiveness. To achieve the objective of this study, quantitative non-probability purposive sampling method was used to adequate representation of the sample respondents. The survey was conducted with a random sample (n=333) of Malaysian Facebook social media users of AirAsia. The dependent variable (represented by the weblog publishing system, comment system and blogroll and hyperlinks) was measured against the independent variable (represented in the ease of use, interactivity and trustworthiness) using Pearson’s correlation test. Results indicated that a significant positive correlation exists between all independent and dependent variables.
Keywords: Corporate communications, customer perception, weblog effectiveness