Hugh from Gapingvoid.com summarizes a talk he gave to the fabled PR agency Edelman.
These 16 learning points pretty much sum up all intelligent thought on business blogging, online conversations and more. Do yourself a favor, click here, go read it and thank me later.
My favorite tidbits?
5. The growth will come, I believe, not by yet more increased efficiencies, but by humanification. For example, take two well-known airlines. They both perform a useful service. They both deliver value. They both cost about the same to fly to New York or Hong Kong. Both have nice Boeings and Airbuses. Both serve peanuts and drinks. Both serve “airline food”. Both use the same airports. But one airline has friendly people working for them, the other airline has surly people working for them. One airline has a sense of fun and adventure about it, one has a tired, jaded business-commuter vibe about it. Guess which one takes the human dimension of their business more seriously than the other? Guess which one still will be around in twenty years? Guess which one will lose billions of dollars worth of shareholder value over the next twenty years? What parallels do you see in your own industry? In your own company?
Indeed. How true is that? Which business are you? Think, be realistic. Which business do you want to be?
7. Blogging is not about reaching a mass audience. Blogging is not about creating yet another sales channel. Blogging is about allowing “The Smarter Conversation” to happen.
Why do some companies lose, while other companies win? Because the latter has a smarter “conversation” with its customers. Pret-A-Manger has a smarter conversation about food than Burger King. Starbuck’s came along 20 years ago and began a smarter conversation about coffee with millions of people within a very short space of time. Wal-Mart’s massive growth started from a smarter conversation about prices. Savile Row tailor, Thomas Mahon came along and, with his blog, had a smarter conversation about $4000 English bespoke suits.
Blogs allow you to cheaply and quickly begin a smarter conversation. And once you get it going, that conversation starts bleeding out into all other areas of your business- including advertising, PR and corporate communications.
Again, how true is this? This is the first thing I tell business blogging customers when I consult… We’re going to create a conversation, and that conversation is going to get you more customers, traffic and publicity then you can imagine, if we do it right.
If you are worried about what people might say about your company, you’re worrying about something you cannot control, because it’s happening, right now, online, whether you like it or not. The question for you is, are you going to control that conversation, or just let it happen without you?
It’s a brave new world out there. I’ve been setting up and building business blogs for over 4 years now. Back then, I didn’t think you had to have one. Today, however, I think it’s like a website. It’s a requirement. It’s expected. At least it should be.
Don’t have a blog yet? Not creating conversations with your customers? It’s time to get in the game, because you know what?
Your competitors are going to beat you to the conversation, and then they’ll control it leaving you playing blog catch up.