Get Out of the Board Room and Into the Chat Room

by: William Gennuine on

This week's marketing minute goes out to all of the big shots - you know who you are - who have pretty much written off this social media thing as a passing fad, not worthy of their attention, the realm of their teenage daughter whose main focus is growing virtual crops and creating polls about which "Twilight" vampire she's most like. But alas, oh Great Ones, be cautious in your judgments since the truth is that social media, in the right hands, is a very powerful and relevant business tool that even grownups like yourself can learn to use.

We made the statement in last week’s Marketing Minute that success in social media is all about quality content. So the question becomes then, from whence doth quality content come? To answer that question, let’s visualize a scenario that we think will make the point.

Let’s all go to an imaginary meeting of some board of directors. In your mind’s eye, scan the boardroom table and who do you see? Is it the administrative assistants? No. (Even though we all know that without the AAs no one at the table could have found anything they needed to get ready for the meeting.) Is it the delivery drivers? No. (They’re out making money for the company right now.) It’s the big cheeses, the CEO, top managers, key investors, owners and founders of the company, and so on. And why, we playfully ask, are these particular people at the table? It’s because it is these people who have the insights and knowledge that is most relevant to the company, and, by extension, to the market in which they operate. Stated differently, it is these people who are the owners of QUALITY CONTENT.

These people are also often the public face of your company, and are the persons customers most want a relationship with. Why not consider giving them a voice through a company blog? A blog that is written with true personality makes readers feel like they know and trust you. It is, after all, these people who are assumed to have the greatest knowledge and the credibility. For example, when you get sick, whose advice do you seek, the doctor or the receptionist?

But don't just assign the blog to the secretary or the student intern. In many cases it should be the CEO writing the blog. Yes, we know the CEO's time is valuable, but so is that of your readers so don't waste it with insights that are just veneer. An enthusiastic and personable CEO bursting with insights into your industry is better advertising than you can buy.

When the CEO Shouldn't Blog
Not every CEO should have a blog. A good blog is based on candor, urgency, timeliness, pithiness and controversy. If your CEO can't commit to regular blogs that include at least four of those items, try another medium or choose another employee, or, better yet, hire an insightful and innovative PR firm. (We just happen to know of a great one right here in town.) The point is casual interaction with customers/readers, so your blog must be written in your voice and not in that of a press release or annual report!

The Power of the People

by: William Gennuine on

In marketing and communications, alot has changed from the golden days of marketing where some slick message, crafted by some high-powered ad agency was fed to the mass market via television, radio and print. While this still is a big part of getting the message out, more common now is information posted by the market who have a real one-on-one experience with the product or service. This phenomenon is made possible by the democratizaton of the message through technology. With blogs, text message, Google and the I Phone, there is not much that cannot be found out about nearly any product, service, company or individual.

So what's a company to do in crafting a message to promote?

The answer is simple. Participate. By participate we mean first of all get your information out into the world wide web. If you cannot be found online you are missing the best opportunity out there to tell your story and get found. Be careful though. Having an online presence is important but it is equally as important to have a web presence that is well organized, clear and of value to those who find it. This takes a bit of thought in how you organize and display information. Less is better and clarity is a stronger draw than a bunch of spinning icons. Keep it clear and keep it simple to have any hope of keeping anyone's attention. More later...