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Saturday, February 23, 2008

When every conversation = talking to the press

This hits a nail on the head very nicely, I think. It's from Seamus McCauley on Virtual Economics. After extolling the virtues of a hayfever remedy that worked particularly well for him he goes on to deliver the following media strategy advice for companies:

"This is what marketing looks like. Produce something good that people want to tell their friends about, and let them get on with it. Your product and your customer service is your marketing now, and the most useful thing your marketing department can be doing is training everyone at your company with a customer-facing role to understand that during every single customer interaction they are now effectively talking to the press."

Not just customer interactions. In effect, any conversation any of us has these days could end up being published. Any conversation.

I'm a journalist-turned-blogger so I tend to apply journalism rules to blogging: if I'm going to post about a conversation I tell the other person that's what I'm likely to do, take notes and strive to make the post accurate, fair and balanced and with suitable attribution. That's what I was taught at journalism school.

But there wouldn't be too many non-journalist bloggers who would do that. Why would they? Which means the conversation I had at the dairy this morning, at the bank at lunchtime, via email this afternoon, on Twitter tonight or at the pub next week could wind up published.

It gives pause for thought, doesn't it.

And then there's the photos. I found some horrendous photos in a shoebox recently (and some absolutely lovely ones) and digitised many of them. But there are a fair few, of my friends and of me, that I won't put on Flickr. Mullets, after all, are best left in the past where they belong. Here's hoping my friends are of the same mind.

Seamus went on to add this nice bit of advice for companies (media companies take note, too):

"Oh, and making a nice website that contains genuinely useful information f
or people to link to
, and making themselves available to answer questions from everyone politely and accurately."