Blog or Die. Shut Up and Listen.

Listen first to learn. Then speak.
Blogging, in a word, is essential to a business

The following is part 5, and the last I will share, of my notes from 2006 after reading Naked Conversations: How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. If you have not read Parts 1 through 4, please do so now. Then, this will all make more sense.

Some of the consultants mentioned below no longer write their blogs in the same way they did in 2006. However, the insights into the beginnings of content marketing as the power house we know it to be today are worth a read. The last two sections of my notes, “Getting Started” and “Technology”, are so outdated now, that I am not going to share them. However, I will write  my own lessons from the naked conversations we have started for so many for so long now.

Notes from May 29, 2006:

Consultants and blogging:

p.84      Consultants and blogging – they just started something because they had a passion and talent and wanted to share it with a few friends.

p.87      Starting collaborate wikis (a form of social software usually used for internal communications that allow groups to collaborate by editing each other’s words on an internet site)

p.89      Two-way marketing is essential to evangelism.  Evangelism should be about matters that are enduring.  It’s about changing the world.

p.94      Blogs add one more tool to marketing’s repertoire.  As with any marketing program, to be effective, blogs must be integrated into a master marketing plan.  (Tony Bloomberg, President of Bloomberg Marketing in Atlanta).  He has a blog called Devis Marketing Blog – shows all the elements found in successful blogs: transparent and authentic, shows passion for subjects. Bloomberg:  “How much closer can a customer get to a brand than talking with the CEO or the people who are the heart of the brand?”  The emotional value that’s associated with the blog can help inspire trust and credibility.  Blogs can be a powerful, experiential marketing tactic.

p.95:     Bloomberg:  “Every marketing director I’ve ever met is looking for innovative ways to create stronger customer relationships.  Especially for service and consulting firms, blogs are an excellent way to establish and promote leadership.”

p.97      Blog or Die: “We do see companies that we think will wither on the vine.  The cause of atrophy will include marketing departments that just don’t get the transformational change in progress and continue to do what’s always done.  In our vision, blogging changes marketing more than marketing changes blogging.  Marketing changes over what it has become over the past 50 years, the stuff that Godin calls “interruption marketing”, into something new, more efficient, and far more effective than two-way marketing.”

p.99      2005 Edelman Trust Barometer, an annual worldwide survey, reported that PR people rank far down the list of credible spokespeople, just above athletes and entertainers and just below lawyers.  PR people generally see themselves as communication facilitators, but many observers view them as gatekeepers or spin masters.

p.100    Whereas a PR practitioner’s loyalty is assumed to be to the client, the blogger’s loyalty is perceived to be to the public at large.  Some of the smartest in the field are rapidly transitioning from traditional to more conversational practices, creating a new “listen and participate” school of thought.

p.103    Edelman: “Those of us in PR have to agree with our own game.  We have to be very much part of the conversation by reading key bloggers in each relevant product category, to be prepared to contribute to the conversation by smart posts, and to keep bloggers updated by having relationships akin to those we have with reporters.”

p.105    Edelman: “PR should be seen as a spur to true interaction, not a barrier.”

p.107    Blog Watch – junior agency team members monitor blog mentions of their clients, products and markets on a daily basis.  “The best PR people have always been connectors.”  (Rubel)  “Blogging is the best connection tool ever invented.”

p.108    Newsgater is an aggregator – first PR person, Rene Blodgett, to use her blog to directly extol the virtues and milestones of her own clients.

p.109    “Control of message, targeting of audiences, measuring of effectiveness has all changed.  Most communicators don’t know it yet.”  (Shel Holtz)  “It has convinced me there’s a new way of working where blog is central, and that by doing it that way, relationships have a new form of trust as their foundation.”  (Neville Hopson/friend of Holtz)

p.111    The advice of Mike Manuel, head of Boce Communications Digital Advocacy:  “Shut up and listen.”

p.112:   3 major trends being driven by blogging:

1. Blogs are democratizing the media
2. Driving corporate transparency
3. Challenging traditional PR practices

Did you enjoying these? I know I had fun rereading them and offering them up. Usually I am looking into the future, but these allow me a good look into the past and a review about how content marketing got its start, and why it is so powerful today, especially for the aging care services businesses.

Next I will tell you how to get started, if you want to do it yourself. My suggestion is that you hire a good content marketing firm, like corecubed, and leave the running of the business to you and the communicating about it effectively to us!