Dan Gillmore wrote this week.....
Some PR and marketing folks have, as you'd expect, taken word-of-mouth as just another great opportunity to sell stuff. Fine, if it's up-front and honest. But word-of-mouth marketing should not mean, as Procter & Gamble and other companies have been doing with such cynicism, getting people to talk up products without disclosing the corporate inducements behind them. "Beyond lame" was one typical reader response to a P&G site, made to look as if it was written by users of its Secret Sparkle Body Sprays. In reality, the site is filled with advertising copy. If any friend of mine did this to me, that person would have one less friend.
A world of conversational communications can be so unstructured at times that the people who once thought corporate messaging was a command-and-control operation can't abide the inexactitude of it all. Understandably so, because they came to their positions in a simpler time, when the message went through a stratified system to specific people.
But the complexities don't justify retreat. They do justify appropriate caution, especially in the kinds of enterprises where proverbial loose lips actually sink ships, such as the military. In the end, the conversation is about culture. If senior people don't believe in the value of conversational communications, they won't happen. But bloggers aren't going away, and younger employees, customers, et al, now think this kind of communication is natural. And it's worth remembering a simple demographic fact: They are the future.
Thank you Dan. In particular, the comment about culture.
Perhaps we have to spend more time looking at what we know about culture to help understanding of what I have called 'Blazing Netshine'. It seeks out cynicism, corporate messaging and command and control. It encourages porosity and uses Internet agency and is the killer app that will defeat scream marketing.