Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Blogs Are MarCom Without The Cat

See this excellent article from a Cisco blogger on Naked Conversations: Blogging in Global Corporations.

I've heard this before. "We asked MarCom to set up a blog for our company but they can't/won't/didn't because they don't have the budget, don't know how, their dog ate their homework.." Whatever.

Here's the deal. Marketing Communications isn't going to initiate or operate a corporate blog because in most companies MarCom is responsible for the production of communication, not for the communication with customers. Blogs are about communication with customers, with very little to zero production skills required.

Who's responsible for making the phone system work? The phone company. Who's responsible for me calling my wife to let her know I'm going to be late for dinner? Me.

What’s different about blogs is the democratization of mass communication. Years ago if you wanted to get a message out to millions of people you had to engage marketing communications folks because they were the only people with the production and distribution capabilities. But now anybody with an internet connection is capable of publishing content that can reach millions.

Consider the story of Einstein attempting to explain radio:
"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."
Blogs are just like marketing communications, the only difference is that there is no cat.

So who's going to run corporate blogs? The people who need to communicate with customers. The CEO, the sales guys, the support guys, the product managers, the engineers, whoever. Who's not going to run corporate blogs? Marketing Communications--because they're the cat.


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