Caesars Entertainment has unceremoniously killed off its Total Vegas blog with zero fanfare. We’re pretty sure “unceremoniously” and “zero fanfare” mean the same thing, but we are emotionally distraught right now, so give us a break.
In 2012, the Caesars Entertainment blog—called the Pulse of Vegas blog at that time—was named the best corporate blog in the entire country.
We should know, we were the one who did the Pulse of Vegas blog.
Yes, that’s what the kids call a “humblebrag.” But sort of without the “humble” part.
The Caesars Entertainment blog launched as Pulse of Vegas in 2009, then was redesigned in 2014 and rebranded to Total Vegas.
Over time, the Total Vegas blog became largely a repository for news releases and one-note promotional content. We honestly can’t recall the last time we saw someone sharing a story from the blog.
Basically, we suspect the Caesars blog ended without fanfare because it had so few fans.
The site’s old address results in a dreaded 404 error.
A little inside baseball: Corporate blogs often experience a vicious cycle. Too few resources are devoted to content marketing, and if you don’t have the right people involved in oversight and execution (driven by passion, as the best blogs are), returns can be perceived as small. You also have to know how to measure results, as they aren’t always dollars.
When executives don’t see a return (content marketing isn’t really in their wheelhouse), they trim the budget further and a blog starts to take a back seat to other, more pressing, matters. The corporate blog becomes less relevant, reach and engagement wane and it doesn’t take an M.B.A. to see the writing on the wall.
It’s possible the demise of the Caesars blog was also the result of new ownership of the company. This move may have been one of those “synergies” (code for “cost-cutting”) Eldorado Resorts has talked about.
While the Caesars Entertainment blog dropped off the map in recent years, we still have great memories of some content nobody else has floated, before or since.
One item that leaps to mind was an April Fools’ story about Caesars Entertainment purchasing the Grand Canyon. We were shocked the then-CEO of Caesars, Gary Loveman, signed on and even approved a quote for the story.
That was followed up by stories with the headlines “Flamingo Pool Shark Startles Some Hotel Guests” and “Las Vegas Casinos Will Enforce High-Five Ban.”
We also did a story about alternative ways of using your hotel shower cap. Not your typical casino marketing, to say the least.
Those were the days.
The Pulse of Vegas blog was a noble experiment, but the fact is Caesars Entertainment didn’t quite know what to make of it. The tone was snarky, and while many companies embrace humor in their social media channels, Caesars not so much.
Because we suspected Caesars might balk at the blog’s unconventional voice, we wrote 100 posts before it ever went live. We figured at that point, it would be tough to justify trying to water down the irreverent tone.
The Pulse of Vegas blog also broke ground in that it veered away from overtly selling anything. The focus was on providing value and entertaining readers.
One of the biggest mistakes companies make in social marketing is constantly talking about themselves. (For example, the “Total Vegas” blog name was disingenuous because the blog wasn’t about Las Vegas, it was almost exclusively about Caesars Entertainment. They were doing “total” wrong.)
In that vein, we once wrote a blog post congratulating the Circus Circus steakhouse on its anniversary. It was an SEO (search engine optimization) strategy to lure visitors searching for information about the best Las Vegas steakhouses. The problem: Circus Circus and its steakhouse aren’t owned by Caesars Entertainment. In one meeting, we thought someone’s head might actually explode.
The Pulse of Vegas blog may have been a tad ahead of its time.
Don’t get us started about how much search traffic Caesars Entertainment is losing by removing its blog content—hundreds of search term rich articles and thousands of photos—entirely.
Our time at the helm of the Caesars Entertainment blog ended in July 2013. Let’s chalk it up to “creative differences.”
We will always have memories of the crazy stories and resulting buzz. We’ll always have fond memories of the small band of troublemakers who handled the site’s technical side and design. They were our biggest cheerleaders and truly understood what blogging could and did do, at least for a time.
While the blog is no longer accessible on the Caesars Entertainment Web site, there’s always the Wayback Machine. It’s fugly, but at least our precious words haven’t just disappeared into the ether.
Just search “http://blog.totalrewards.com.”
On the bright side, without the Caesars Entertainment blog, there probably wouldn’t be a Vital Vegas blog, as that’s where we discovered our love of both blogging and stirring up shit.
The rise and fall of the Caesars Entertainment blog could serve as a blueprint for what can go right and wrong with a corporate blog.
Blogs can humanize a giant company, raise brand awareness and keep existing customers engaged while attracting new ones.
If done right, corporate blogs can drive the online conversation and create a community rather than treating people like “market segments.” They can help a company to stand out, to swim past the breakers in a tsunami of digital marketing froth. No wonder we’ve won so many awards, humblebragwise.
Corporate blogs are the art of marketing without marketing.
We’re saying all this because so many Las Vegas casinos are missing the boat. They treat social media, including blogging, like advertising. Even worse, like public relations. There’s little interest in sparking conversation or providing entertaining content that gets people excited about their resorts or amenities.
At one time, the Caesars Entertainment blog was seen as a breath of fresh air, and all these years later, Vegas casinos still haven’t figured out content marketing isn’t what’s next, it’s already here. It’s just happening without them.
It’s bittersweet saying goodbye to the Caesars Entertainment blog. Not so much because of what it had become, but because of what it could have been.