Lessons from the 2011 Inbound Marketing Summit

Posted on September 20, 2011. Filed under: Business Strategy, Human Business, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Media, Online Marketing, Small Business | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Inbound Marketing Summit 2011 in Boston

The Inbound Marketing Summit 2011 Was Packed With Ideas From Top Experts

My Twitter account was hacked last night, so no Tuesday Tweets til I get things back to normal. Instead, I’ll share more learning from the 2011 Inbound Marketing Summit (#IMS11 if you want to follow it on Twitter), which I attended last week in Boston.

I put up a couple of quick posts while I was there, but now that I’ve had a chance to process the experience and review my notes I can offer you more in depth reporting and some key takeaways.

As in the past two years that I’ve attended, the speakers were the top names in marketing and media – online and offline. I’ll be sharing highlights of their talks over the next week or so – starting now.

Differentiating Your Company from the Competition

After a welcome by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who talked about the opportunities for tech companies in his state, Harvard Business School professor Youngme Moon gave the opening keynote on the topic of marketing differentiation. This is a favorite topic of mine as I see so much boring sameness out there, industry to industry. Translate that to mean loss of opportunity.

In true HBS tradition, as she put it, Moon explained ‘being different’ via case studies of IKEA, Mini Cooper and Apple. These ‘different’ companies have built very devoted customers and share certain qualities that we can all try to emulate:

  •  Nurturing the seemingly crazy ideas that lead them to buck the status quo and become ‘different.’ (Think about launching a tiny car to the U.S. market in an age of SUVs.)
  • Embracing their negatives. According to Moon, the genius is often in the negatives.
  • Being willing to ignore critics.
  • Not over-listening to customers, who can tell you how to improve, but not how to be different.
  • Being passionate beyond belief – the extreme version of caring and believing.

Do You Really Need to Be On Google+?

Chris Brogan, who’s been evaluating Google+ in depth since it launched in June tackled the subject of why we need another social network. His answer: Technology Evolves! We need to go where our people are.

Brogan pointed out an array of now-defunct – or almost defunct – technology and sites to make his point. Do you remember Friendster? Does anyone log onto Geocities these days?

Beyond its ‘clean’ visual look, Google+ has added social functionalities that have been missing and that Twitter and Facebook have now responded to with similar features. Selective sharing has been embraced, along with the video conferencing capabilities of which people are making varied and creative use, i.e. holding intellectual ‘salons’ of gurus and regular folk or hosting international customer support forums.

But the most powerful reason to have a Google+ presence is that it’s the first social network that combines social with search. Google no longer indexes Twitter, but being on Google+ might just help you come up higher in organic search results than those who aren’t.

Middle of the Sales Funnel in the Spotlight

HubSpot co-founder and CEO Brian Halligan used his speaking slot to address the shifting sales funnel. The first few years of inbound marketing have focused on stretching the top of the sales funnel by attracting more traffic to our websites and other online outposts and then converting the traffic to leads.

Inbound marketing 2.0 will be about how to better nurture leads through the middle of the sales funnel so that we develop a significant enough relationship to convert leads to customers when they’re ready to purchase. HubSpot recently acquired the company Performable, which has focused on middle-of-the-funnel technology that will now integrate with the HubSpot platform.

The key takeaway from Brian’s talk is that this shift in focus to the middle of the funnel coincides with the shift in power from the sales rep to the buyer created by the ability to research products and services online before buying. This has created a paradigm shift in the relationship between marketing and sales.

The new realities of buyer power require bigger marketing departments to handle the lead generation and nurturing processes and a smaller sales force that can concentrate on converting to customers the highly-qualified and sales-ready leads that marketing turns over to them.

More to come! Have you begun shifting your marketing to take advantage of new thinking and online tools?

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )

Short Post on Facebook vs Google+: Is the new solving old problems?

Posted on July 11, 2011. Filed under: Facebook, Google, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Small Business, Social Media, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Old vs New

Does the New Solve Old Problems?

Sometimes having a new online marketing tool gets us thinking about what it is about the old tool that we’ve just been putting up with because we had no good options. Until today, I wasn’t that focused on Google+, the new social media service from Google.

If you’ve read – or go back and read – my last few posts, you’ll see that I’ve used the launch of Google+ to focus on the fact that most businesses haven’t yet nailed online marketing basics – let alone what’s new coming down the pike.

But today I realized that Facebook would be much more helpful if we could attach other info than video and image files and outside links. I was posting basic info about an event being put on by an account I administer. It would have been helpful to attach a copy of the flyer or press release to give more details. No dice.

I searched around and came up with a Facebook-centric posting service called PosterWall.com that didn’t seem to intuitively solve the problem – although if I play around with it I might figure it out. But at least in the process I learned that lots of other people are frustrated by the file sharing limitations of Facebook.

To make matters worse today, in the process of playing around with various ways I might share the desired files, I accidentally deleted a previous post and there’s no way to undelete it.

As a subscriber to daily emails of Chris Brogan’s blog, I’ve been following his excellent and ongoing reviews of Google+. As a non-invitation-holder to the current field trial, I have to rely on trusted others to get me up to speed. Chris’ explorations have been very practical and give a visual peek into the Google+ world. You can see for yourself at www.chrisbrogan.com. No need for me to re-invent the wheel here.

But as I watched a very helpful ‘screen cast’ Chris put out today of the Google+ environment, it looked to me that in the area that corresponds to the Facebook Wall, there was no option for posting, say, a Word file. I left a comment to that effect and will let you know if I get a response. Plus I will do additional research.

Looking at the idea of Google+ Circles (different groups and communities that you can define for purposes of what to share with whom) I’m wondering what the difference is from the Lists in Twitter. I started making lists when Lists was first introduced, but as my Twitter followers have increased and people follow me from various arenas, I’ve stopped taking the time to figure out what lists they belong on.  Will that be the same with Circles?

I guess the point of this post is that what gets us interested in the new is when the old doesn’t meet our needs. If the new doesn’t meet them either, then it won’t surpass the old.

Image is from Mrs Logic Under Creative Commons License.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Ignore Google vs Facebook Battle of the Titans. Keep Your Eye on Your Plan

Posted on July 7, 2011. Filed under: Business Management, Content, Facebook, Google, Marketing, Small Business, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Facebook vs Google

Don't be Distracted from Your Online Marketing Plan by the Facebook vs Google Battle of the Titans

Anymore when I read my morning feeds, I feel like I always do when the local news gives the Monday morning movie box office scores. Why??

The online ‘movie of the month’ — Facebook & Google: Titans’ Battle to Destiny — is making my head spin. I’m used to things rolling fast in the technology world, but do you get the sense that at this moment the game has ramped up for some reason?

I’ve spent a good deal of time reading reviews of the Google+ field test. The arc that reviews have followed is similar to what I’ve experienced with other emerging tools and online phenomena.

  • The brush off (we’ll have to see what this is all about).
  • The immersions (Just spent several hours on whatever the new thing and here are my initial reactions).
  • The instant embraces and rejections depending on guru.
  • The reality of whether everyone other than the insiders actually adopts the new thing in time.

Now today, the news breaks about the Facebook/Skype collaboration on video chat within Facebook. I read the news right after reading Chris Brogan’s positive review of the Hangout feature in Google+ that allows up to 10 people to video-chat at the same time.

Apparently Facebook video chat is a one-to-one deal. I read several blog posts this afternoon that offer mixed reviews of Facebook’s new video venture. But does any of this really matter to you right now?

Readers, please know that I keep up on this stuff. But I don’t necessarily jump in and start blogging about the next great thing online. I’m working with small to mid-sized companies that are still trying to get their next generation websites up, figure out why they need to blog – and how can we ever find the time to do it – and a lot of other things that they need to understand and embrace to use the Web to grow their businesses.

So I say, WHOA!!!! Don’t pay attention to all the buzz and the battle of the titans going on among the huge players whose future lies in trying to control what the future will be.

Let’s not get distracted, my small to mid-sized business friends. Let’s keep our eyes on the ball and implement a rational online marketing plan, based on real objectives, using the proven tools of today.

Promise. When the new stuff is really meaningful to your business, I’ll help get you up to speed.

Is your head spinning with daily Google-Facebook news? What are you doing to keep your online marketing plan on track?

Image by Jason Barles Under Creative Commons License

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Can Google+ Save Jazz?

Posted on July 3, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Business Management, Communications, Entertainment, Google, Human Business, Inbound Marketing, Jazz, Leadership, Marketing, Media, Small Business, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

For those of you who may not know, in addition to addressing how the Web is influencing the evolution of marketing, this blog is from time to time where I can share my passion for jazz. This post combines the two.

For the Future of Jazz

When it comes to creativity and discipline, there are no better role models than jazz musicians at the top of their game. Yet the number of venues where we can hear jazz in the US– where it was invented – shrinks every year. American jazz artists must go to Europe orAsia to achieve rock star (pardon the expression) status.

Last night we heard an awesome jazz quartet at the Village Vanguard in NYC anchored by the trio Renee Rosnes on piano, Peter Washington on bass and the spectacular Lewis Nash on drums. Every time I have such an experience, it makes me think about and hope for the future of the art form.

Could it be that Google+ – now in beta – holds the answer?

Because of my interest in this phenomenal music, I joined a LinkedIn group called Jazz in Business, which I’ve mentioned here before – as recently as yesterday. I started a discussion there by asking how members are using social media and the Web in general to promote and enable their music.

There have been a number of comments describing use of Facebook and Twitter to promote gigs and CDs. One member, Michael Gold, PhD, a brilliant jazz upright bass player who uses video Skype calls to teach and rehearse with students, posted a highly provocative comment. Michael, who performed in NY for years, has founded a consultancy called Jazz Impact in the Minneapolis area.

“We are at the beginning of a new business platform (in jazz).

Eventually the real-estate that houses clubs and performance spaces will be manifested in virtual space.

The challenge is to extract the core value of all that has worked in the past and reinvent it using the new tools that exist. That’s called creative destruction- a phrase coined by the economist Joseph Schumpeter in the 1940’s to describe what he saw as the escalating process of innovation brought about by new technologies.

Ultimately we’re all going to become “dot communists.” If we can just let go of the gravity of past (as in passed) success and look forward relentlessly, we’ll see it and we’ll make it emerge.”

With thoughts from last night about the future of jazz still fresh, I awoke today, got some coffee and went to my email, including Chris Brogan’s blog, which I read daily. Today he posted 50 observations about Google+ from his early explorations as an invitee to its beta.

Two jumped out at me that describe how a couple of Google+ features may change the entertainment and performance landscape:  

  • If Google Music integrates into this platform the way YouTube is now, it’s a powerful entertainment media platform instantly.
  • How long before we see our first Hangout live music “jam?” That’s one record button away from being supercool. And one “name your price” Google Checkout tweak away from being instant micro content for sale.

As formerly ‘bricks and mortar only’ activities – including jazz clubs and festivals — are enabled to move online and access global audiences, there is hope for my beloved jazz and the amazing artists who sacrifice much to play it and keep it alive!

Here’s a link to NPR’s site where you can hear the Renee Rosnes trio’s performance on Jazzset along with vibes player Steve Nelson. Enjoy!

 

How do you envision the Web’s role in the future of music?

 

 

 

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

College of Online Marketing: A Never-ending Curriculum

Posted on June 29, 2011. Filed under: Blogging, Blogs, Content, Human Business, Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Media, News, Public Relations Marketing, SEO, Small Business, Social Media, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

No Graduation at College of Online

No Graduation at College of Online

I just spent 30 minutes getting up to speed on the Google+ Project announced yesterday – Google’s new social media network, currently in a limited field trial. It’s quite interesting and I’ll explore it further with you as it rolls out to everyone.

The point of this post, though, is that when it comes to keeping up with online/inbound marketing, we need to commit to constant and continuous education. Not a day goes by that I don’t learn about a new tool, app, initiative, issue or trend related to marketing and interacting on the Internet.

It’s exhilarating and sometimes exhausting to be part of such a rapidly evolving profession. But the benefits that Web-based technology can bring my clients – especially small businesses – make it worth burning the midnight oil or rising at summer dawn to read the latest information.

If you’re a business trying to figure out how to market your company online, it’s a good idea to get some background information – even if you are or will be working with an agency or consultant. Here’s a 101 class, a few best-selling books to read and blogs to follow – in addition to this one — that will help you understand how to best use the Web for your marketing.

  • “The New Rules of Marketing & PR,” by David Meerman Scott. Clients of mine are currently reading this and it’s fun to see the lights going on for them as they learn why we’re better off putting resources into blogging than newspaper advertising.
  •  “Real-Time Marketing & PR,” the latest from David Meerman Scott.
  • “Inbound Marketing,” by HubSpot founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, the guys who defined and automated the inbound marketing process.
  • “Trust Agents,” by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, the bible for understanding how and why the Web can help you build influence, improve your reputation and earn trust.

All of the above are published by John Wiley and Sons. Even if you’ve read them before, they bear perusing again from time to time.

In the blog/online media department, I regularly read:

Another important source of information for me is my online marketing community on Twitter. Follow me, see some of the people I follow, and check out my lists. You can take advantage of the news links they tweet every day.

So welcome to the College of Online Marketing, Class of Forever. Graduation day is not in the picture – unless the Big Power Outage comes. As long as it doesn’t, let’s consider ourselves online marketing lifelong learners.

What are your favorite sources for keeping up with the evolution of the Internet? Thanks for sharing!

Photo by J.o.h.n.Walker under Creative Commons License

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Inbound Marketing Summit 2010: Reflections on the Past Year and Where We Are Now

Posted on October 26, 2010. Filed under: Communications, Content, Human Business, Inbound Marketing, Internet Research, Internet Traffic, Jazz, Marketing, Public Relations Marketing, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

This post reflects on the past year, on the anniversary of this blog. It also looks ahead to how we can each do something new to positively influence our businesses and our lives. A fitting musical post for the topic is Cole Porter’s “From This Moment On” swung by the late, great and gorgeous Lena Horne.

It’s taken me two weeks to finally put down a post about the Inbound Marketing Summit 2010 (IMS10). I’ve already written about the highlights for my upcoming “Working the Web” column in the Fairfield and Westchester County Business Journals. And a video interview I did at IMS10 with Chris Brogan will be posted on the Journals’ website — www.westfaironline.com.

But what I reserve for you, my blog readers, is always a more personal take on things. And I must admit that my reflection on IMS10 is as much a reflection on my past year in business.

Brian Halligan of Hubspot & David Meerman Scott

Top speakers at IMS10

When I attended IMS09 – exactly one year ago — I was an enormous sponge trying to suck up enough knowledge to offer clients credible advice about how to build a web presence and put it to work in support of their business goals. This year I can point to a bunch of success stories – with others in the works.

This year I’m no longer a ‘newbie’. Back in June I wrote in “Working the Web” about what I perceived as the need to connect the dots between the online and offline worlds, as well as our global and local presences. Turns out this was a major theme offered by a number of presenters at IMS10. In one short year, I’ve gone from apprentice to trend setter. This is by no means a self congratulatory statement. Rather it points up the fact that we’re in a new world and everyone’s figuring it out together. No one’s more expert than me. Or you.

There’s only one thing I can say with solid certainty about the new age of marketing and PR: There’s opportunity in them thar hills, my friends. It’s worth taking a deep breath and jumping in. It’s really worth ditching your Yellow Pages ad (finally, please!!) and investing that budget in a website that incorporates the option for a two-way conversation.

Figure out how to find your stakeholders online. It’s so easy you won’t believe it! Then offer them your talents, experience, advice and the passion you have for your business. Do you think they’ll be attracted to that? You can lay a sure bet on it. Once you attract them, talk to them. Listen to them. You’ll build a relationship that leads to business. This stuff works. Here’s a case in point.

A recent client insisted that he didn’t need his company’s new website optimized for search engines because that’s just not how they get their business. It’s all through referrals. That’s great, but I couldn’t believe that there weren’t other opportunities they could tap into using their site.

The client humored me when I told him I couldn’t in all good conscience create a new website without some keyword research and at least basic meta data optimization. PS…Several months later the site is coming up on page one of Google results for important keywords. For certain terms they’re number one and two on page one.

Guess what? They’re getting business from their website!! One reason – beyond my fabulous optimization prowess ;-} – is that few in their industry are doing anything to come up on searches. We’re at a moment where you can still be among the first and the few. All you have to do is do something.

Look, we’re still in a fear-based business climate. But as someone who totally evolved and rebuilt her business in the midst of one of the worst economic climates in our lives, please believe me when I say, “Do something new.” Invest a little in your business marketing – especially online. Do it with some real strategy in mind. Go out to an event or two and listen to what’s going on. Do a Twitter search on a hash tag subject of interest to your business. (Don’t worry. I’ll discuss hash tags next post and some interesting new developments around them.)

Check progress. Connect with some like-minded people. Get energized. That’s what IMS10 did for me.

What’s happened in your business in the last year and how are you re-energizing for the year to come?

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

How Social Media (probably) Got a Small Hotel into the NY Times

Posted on February 22, 2010. Filed under: Jazz, Newspapers, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

No other tune could accompany this post as well as Ella Fitzgerald’s rendition of There’s a Small Hotel from the album The Rodgers and Hart Songbook Volume 2. Check out the rarely-heard verse! Hit the play button below, or if you’re getting this by email, visit the blog to listen.

Today my RSS feed coughed up a New York Times article by Susan Dominus about the joys of www.foursquare.com. Read the article or go on the website to learn about Foursquare. That’s not the point of this post.

Susan Dominus met one of her sources for the article at the Roger Smith Hotel on Lexington Ave between 47th and 48th. From my experience, the choice of venue might be no coincidence. And it represents the power of social media.

First let me say that, in my opinion, the Roger Smith is one of the coolest unsung spots in NY City. Its president is talented Connecticut sculptor James Knowles. The property is maybe the last remaining property of his wife’s family’s hotel holdings. The couple has lovingly embraced the Roger Smith, renovated it and given it one of the most delightful personalities in all NY hotel-dom.

I first met Jim Knowles in the early 1990s through a client Joe Scott, founder of upscale Connecticut landscape design firm Glen Gate, who engaged Jim to create an award for his most creative designers. At the time, Jim hosted Monday evening starving artist dinners in the penthouse of the Roger Smith. They were unspeakably charming and so supportive of the New York arts community.

Over time, I’d stop in there to view the artwork on display and noticed that the hotel was succeeding in attracting international visitors. But I will go out on a limb and say that it has become uber-popular with home town folk since social media guru Chris Brogan has made it his official NY stopover.

Chris tweets about the Roger Smith to his almost 125,000 Twitter followers – including me — and frequently mentions the hotel in blog and newsletter posts. So when a New York Times reporter doing a story on the website Foursquare.com hooks up with interviewee “Damien Basile, a 29-year-old social media consultant, and several of his Foursquare-happy friends” at the Roger Smith, it stands to reason that this person likely learned about the place from a Chris Brogan post and might well be wanting to establish Foursquare mayor-dom and badges at Chris’ NY hotel of choice. (Again check out Foursquare or the Times article to interpret the aforegoing.)

Makes sense to me. But more important, and what I’d share with clients, is that recognition in the social media realm has real dollars and cents value. The fact that Chris has established authority and endorses the Roger Smith likely makes it a destination for social media types and probably led to the NY Times recognition. Chris…you’ve proved it before, and if I’m not all wet here, this proves it again.

Obviously, I’m connecting the dots, but if somehow Damien Basile sees this post, please let me know if I’m right or paddling in the wrong pond. Or if Chris Brogan learned about the Roger Smith from Damien or other NY social media folk I’ll reverse, of course. But it was one of those tasty moments that seemed more than coincidence. And Chris’ endorsement of the Roger Smith certainly can’t hurt – regardless of who learned about it from whom.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

Inbound Marketing Mentors: Sorcerer’s Apprentice Redux

Posted on November 1, 2009. Filed under: Inbound Marketing, Jazz, Public Relations Marketing, Social Media, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I guess I must be suffering a Halloween hangover this morning – despite an extra hour of turn-back-the-clock sleep. For more than a year, as mentioned before, I’ve immersed in the world of inbound marketing, social media and the other tools that will help clients communicate effectively and profitably in the years ahead. In this really interesting and exciting pursuit, I’ve become a willing apprentice and have gratefully accepted mentorship in all of the forms that it’s generously been offered.

While a relative newbie compared to some, this is still a pretty new turn in our industry so I feel something like a pioneer at the same time. As I make my way with everyone else who’s busy ‘trying to figure this all out’, I’ve found myself sitting at the feet of brilliant and talented people who have hacked out the rugged path for my covered wagon.

For the past month or so, since a great Social Media guy Walter Elly introduced me to it at Inbound Marketing Summit 09 in Boston, I’ve been listening to and studying the webinars offered in a free certification curriculum — Inbound Marketing University.

This formidable effort was put together and is offered by HubSpot (www.hubspot.com) as a way to start credentialing people who have committed to becoming knowledgeable in the ways of marketing on the Web. Rebecca Corliss of HubSpot has taken charge of IMU, which leverages the webinars they had been offering over time featuring such experts as Chris Brogan of New Marketing Labs and ChrisBrogan.com, entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk of winelibrary.tv, and Avinash Kaushik, Google’s analytical guru and author of the new Web Analytics 2.0. IMU covers the wide array of topics that comprise the complex Inbound Marketing approach.

For those who clicked on the play button for today’s jazz selection, let me take a moment to explain why I chose it for this post. The group is one of the many configurations over decades of drummer Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Blakey is known as one of the top mentors and nurturers of jazz talent who ever lived. In a musical art form based on apprenticeship and passing down learning from generation to generation, Art Blakey was one of the most prolific teachers.

The tune you’re listening to is Moanin’, composed and played here by pianist Bobby Timmons. In addition to his mentor Blakey, Timmons is accompanied by fellow mentees who all went on to make an enormous mark on jazz — the great trumpeter Lee Morgan, tenor saxophonist Benny Golson, and bassist Jymie Merritt. It’s from an October 30, 1958 recording session, making it a particularly apropos selection for Halloween weekend.

Anyhow – I look forward to sitting soon for the exam that will hopefully result in my being recognized as a Certified Inbound Marketing Professional. Thank you to all of my teachers and role models for helping me as I shift my experience and talents into this new direction. I promise to put what I’m learning – and will continue to learn — to good use and pass it forward to others who decide to follow this road. Check out IMU at www.inboundmarketing.com/university/classes.

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

Getting to know you — Social Media Style

Posted on October 14, 2009. Filed under: Jazz, Public Relations Marketing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Today in my search for musical blogging inspiration, I decided just to close my eyes and thrust my hand into a CD shelf and pull one out at random. Spooky. I pulled out ‘Getting to Know You’ – an album by virtuoso jazz pianist Mulgrew Miller. Click to hear his interpretation of the title song which you may have first heard sung by children in The King and I.

Now anyone who read my last post knows that the featured artist was Mark Murphy. Today, by chance, we have another MM artist. You should all thank your lucky stars that I don’t have Marilyn Manson in my collection (except for Marilyn Manson fans, of course). And I don’t think that Mickey Mantle or Marilyn Monroe ever recorded anything of note – Happy Birthday Mr. President doesn’t count. Hopefully, we’ll break the MM streak next time. In fact, I give you my solemn promise.

What strikes me silly is the appropriateness of the ‘Getting to Know You’ theme. Ironically, that’s what we’re doing here. You’re getting to know me by my blogs and I’m getting to know you by your comments. The song title is a great metaphor for how we connect on the Web.

The other web and social media thing about this is that you’re getting to know the REAL me. As a PR person in the traditional practice of the profession, I was always behind the scenes. I’d cringe to find myself quoted in the media when it would have been more appropriate and informative in my view for my client to do the honors.

In terms of client representation, I think that still holds true. In terms of learning how to present and represent clients in a Web 2.0 world, there is something to be learned and altered.

Last week at Chris Brogan and Justin Levy’s Inbound Marketing Summit in Boston, I was speaking with Tim Marklein, Executive VP, Measurement & Strategy for Weber Shandwick. After a couple of presentations that pretty much declared PR dead and gone, Tim focused his presentation on advocacy, a PR approach that still has great merit. Not only that, but it translates perfectly into 2.0 PR representation.

As we conversed on what PR ideas are still applicable and which are gone, I offered that the content area is one where PR shines. We know how to ‘tell the story’. And we also make the case in a way that helps others feel comfortable endorsing our clients’ positions.

What else I shared with Tim – a concept he said he hadn’t heard in just that way before – is that as PR people we have been uber-protective of our clients. Probably, this gave birth to the notion of ‘spin’ – anathema to how I’ve always thought about client representation. As PR people we have an obligation to support – advocate – a client’s valuable point of view. It does not serve them well to adjust that view, fail to adjust it when necessary, or worse, fail to engage, in the face of external expectations, criticism or real life events. Over-protectiveness – smoothing it over – is particularly ill-suited to the Web 2.0 world where genuine human fallibility, mistakes, and vulnerability are valuable currency. In working with clients who want to engage on the Web, I encourage more real talk than corporate speak.

In other words, let’s really get to know each other. We’re basically good people. How bad can it be??

For those who are into today’s tune, personnel are, Mulgrew Miller, Steinway concert grand piano (should I put Steinway in the tags?), Richie Goods, bass, Karriem Riggins, drums, Big Black, congas, Steven Kroon, percussion.

Enjoy! See you soon!

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 2 so far )

  • Enter your email address to follow my blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Thanks for your support!

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: