Post from the Comments – Voices

advertising Bob Rhubart wrote a great comment to my video blog about finding your business voice. I loved it so much, I’ve decided to promote it to being its own blog post. Here’s Bob:

You’ve hit on my primary soapbox issue when talking to people about the use of Social Media in a business context. The problem — well, my problem — with “traditional” marketing communication is that it’s so obviously fluffy and phoney and too often absent any signs of life. Yet in my experience so many marketing people seem to think that the audience will suck that up. That’s one aspect.

Another is the idea that businesses don’t communicate, people communicate. The use of Social Media makes old-school faceless, sanitized, “official” communication obsolete. This is the age of technologically extended personal connection to a global personal network. In that network the lines between business interests and personal interests is very blurry indeed. And that’s as it should be. As individuals our professional and personal lives are inextricably intertwined.

In that environment, can a business survive if it continues to engage with customers, partners, suppliers, or employees as a single monolithic entity? I think not. A business is a collection of individual people, a kind of techno-organic network — a network within the larger global network. The use of Social Media allows individuals within one network to engage with individuals in other networks on a more personal, and thereby more effective level.

As individuals we are all nodes on that overarching global network. Social Media tools allow us to create and manage our own connections. This is a cataclysmic change in the business environment, but it’s a cataclysm that businesses can survive if they learn to unleash — and trust — the individual voices within.

In order to be effective, those individual voices must reflect the legitimate passions, interests, and expertise of the individual, rather than spewing out the same tired old monolithic marketing message. Every time I see a press release disguised as a blog post I want to stab myself in the brain with a pencil.

And that brings us back to your excellent point about the importantance of the legitimate, real, individual voice. With a little luck and a lot of enthusiasm Social Media can finally drive a stake through the heart of the monolithic business-speak and marketing fluff that gets in the way of the more valuable personal connection businesses of all sizes must make with customers and the other roles that are essential to the business.

Learn more about Bob Rhubart at Smallification.com

Photo credit jbcurio

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  • http://smallbizbee.com/index/2009/01/21/defining-entreprenuer/ Matt | Small Biz Bee

    Another great example of getting top quality ideas from the conversations that happen in the comments section of the blog.

    Something that Bob said that resonated with me was “Businesses don’t communicate, people communicate” so true, and that’s why social media will only get bigger as businesses figure that out.

    Thanks,
    Matt

  • http://smallbizbee.com/index/2009/01/21/defining-entreprenuer/ Matt | Small Biz Bee

    Another great example of getting top quality ideas from the conversations that happen in the comments section of the blog.

    Something that Bob said that resonated with me was “Businesses don’t communicate, people communicate” so true, and that’s why social media will only get bigger as businesses figure that out.

    Thanks,
    Matt

  • http://www.nathanmcgee.com Nathan

    I’m a big fan of businesses that allow employees to participate in their blogging efforts! I have seen too often corporations employ “a blogger.” While I think this person can be very useful and helpful in establishing the company’s voice, corporate blogging (imo) to be effective, is much more than a one man job!

  • http://www.nathanmcgee.com Nathan

    I’m a big fan of businesses that allow employees to participate in their blogging efforts! I have seen too often corporations employ “a blogger.” While I think this person can be very useful and helpful in establishing the company’s voice, corporate blogging (imo) to be effective, is much more than a one man job!

  • http://www.whiplashdesign.com Christian Messer

    This is a great topic – and reminds me of Bob…(I believe?) the man who worked at a company that told him to stop talking to customers, and unfortunately he didn’t. Not sure what happened to him.

    Both of these posts are of great importance – because our society, our parents, teachers and even some of our friends put up barriers, or lines in the sand of what was expected of us and our behavior. Too often we muzzle ourselves when in certain environments, it’s a wonder we all don’t have multiple personalities.

    Passion is a glorious thing and to restrain it, people lose out on using it as a tool to succeed. Gary Veynerchuck is great example of genuine passion that is flowing so fluidly and energizing everyone in the room with it. We all can learn a thing or two from watching any of his videos – and he swears, but I think even he has muted that at certain Keynotes.

    Great videos and discussion Chris – Enjoy being a part of your community. Now off to look at “The Power of Less”!

  • http://www.whiplashdesign.com Christian Messer

    This is a great topic – and reminds me of Bob…(I believe?) the man who worked at a company that told him to stop talking to customers, and unfortunately he didn’t. Not sure what happened to him.

    Both of these posts are of great importance – because our society, our parents, teachers and even some of our friends put up barriers, or lines in the sand of what was expected of us and our behavior. Too often we muzzle ourselves when in certain environments, it’s a wonder we all don’t have multiple personalities.

    Passion is a glorious thing and to restrain it, people lose out on using it as a tool to succeed. Gary Veynerchuck is great example of genuine passion that is flowing so fluidly and energizing everyone in the room with it. We all can learn a thing or two from watching any of his videos – and he swears, but I think even he has muted that at certain Keynotes.

    Great videos and discussion Chris – Enjoy being a part of your community. Now off to look at “The Power of Less”!

  • http://www.evowebdev.com/blog/ Ray Gulick

    Key insight: “businesses don’t communicate, people communicate.” That’s what makes social media work. To the extent that “communication” has been hijacked for the last 50 years by professional communicators, business people and their relationships with their customers have suffered. The advertising/PR firms that thrive in the future may be those who are able to help their clients connect with their customers.
    Thanks for a great post.

  • http://www.evowebdev.com/blog Ray Gulick

    Key insight: “businesses don’t communicate, people communicate.” That’s what makes social media work. To the extent that “communication” has been hijacked for the last 50 years by professional communicators, business people and their relationships with their customers have suffered. The advertising/PR firms that thrive in the future may be those who are able to help their clients connect with their customers.
    Thanks for a great post.

  • http://thefuturebuzz.com Adam Singer

    Agreed on not sounding like a warmed over press release, and Bob’s comment is great. Even still – and I’m younger than most of you guys (at 26) I still believe you can be interesting and not use profanity. That’s just me, then again you all are pirates ;)

  • http://thefuturebuzz.com Adam Singer

    Agreed on not sounding like a warmed over press release, and Bob’s comment is great. Even still – and I’m younger than most of you guys (at 26) I still believe you can be interesting and not use profanity. That’s just me, then again you all are pirates ;)

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  • http://www.danomi.com Young Che

    We all have a duty and a responsibility to be human now more than ever. The tools available at our disposal make it easier than ever. How many businesses really value humans and being human?

    Bob, you made some excellent points. Especially about being effective – “those individual voices must reflect the legitimate passions, interests, and expertise of the individual, rather than spewing out the same tired old monolithic marketing message.”

  • http://www.danomi.com Young Che

    We all have a duty and a responsibility to be human now more than ever. The tools available at our disposal make it easier than ever. How many businesses really value humans and being human?

    Bob, you made some excellent points. Especially about being effective – “those individual voices must reflect the legitimate passions, interests, and expertise of the individual, rather than spewing out the same tired old monolithic marketing message.”

  • http://www.ngagenow.com Matt Biegacki

    “Every time I see a press release disguised as a blog post I want to stab myself in the brain with a pencil.”

    Epic.

    Thanks for the share…

  • http://www.ngagenow.com Matt Biegacki

    “Every time I see a press release disguised as a blog post I want to stab myself in the brain with a pencil.”

    Epic.

    Thanks for the share…

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  • http://dml.cs.byu.edu/matthewsmith Matt Smith

    Doing something valuable is crucial. Regurgitating garbage to hopefully get a few clicks is meaningless. Let’s building meaningful relationships where we can effectively help one another.

  • http://dml.cs.byu.edu/matthewsmith Matt Smith

    Doing something valuable is crucial. Regurgitating garbage to hopefully get a few clicks is meaningless. Let’s building meaningful relationships where we can effectively help one another.

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  • Unknown

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