We did our best to entertain around 70 people and a TV crew from Foxtel at what was probably the first blog-related event of its type in Australia (if I’m wrong, let me know..). The Foxtel show will screen in a couple of weeks I’m told – H&K, what was that date & channel info again?
Anyway, I had some great conversations with people before, during and after the panel. Judging by the level of interest and knowledge of blogs, I was left wondering why more people in the marketing & communications industry are not blogging? In some cases audience members were actually contributing to the discussion from their chairs rather than asking questions. Fantastic stuff, and the way it should be.
To answer the question of why blogs matter to marcoms people: we talked about how blogs (and now podcasts) have introduced us to a new era of open communication between companies and individuals. More specifically, real people at companies and anyone out there who will listen.
In the corporate context, blogs promote honest dialogue between a company and its customers and stakeholders. For marketing folks, that means the role of gatekeeper becomes less important (if not irrelevant in the long term). What counts is your ability to offer clients advice on how to engage in meaningful dialogue.
Likewise, we discussed how blogs have changed the media business. Journalists (for better or worse) are being backed into a public perception corner where they too are seen as gatekeepers and filters of information.
It’s an issue that strikes at the heart of what it means to create a media business. I wasn’t kidding when I said “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” That’s actually the point for media people. People love to discuss stories in the press, and the press should be far more engaged than simply running readers’ letters.
If you're reading this after attending the brekky this morning, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Have we convinced you to start blogging? Why/why not? It's certainly got the H&K people thinking!