So, you are the New Media Evangelist in your company. You are the one who has convinced someone in upper management to try some New Media marketing techniques. Congratulations. You have won your first battle with “The Traditionals.”
But beware. Just because you’ve been successful opening a New Media-driven conversation, it doesn’t mean that you’ve won the hearts and minds of everyone. The Traditionals will be sitting back, waiting for your “new fangled” ideas to fail. Unfortunately for them, they’ll be waiting a long time, because this stuff works. At some point, your success will threaten The Traditionals, who in response will throw speed-bumps in your way. Your job is to be prepared for this resistance — which will come in the most unlikely of forms.
Last week I had an interesting call. “Ron, our bloggers are getting email from readers!”
Thinking that I was responding appropriately, I said, “That’s great! A new line of communications with customers.”
Evidently, my response wasn’t what she wanted to hear.
“We can’t have private conversations happening between bloggers and the readers,” she said.
“Umm, why not?”
“Because we need to know what they are saying. If they want to say something, say it in a comment. We need to put something on the blogs that prohibits readers from contacting a blogger directly.”
I tried explaining that — for a myriad of reasons — a reader may want a particular conversation to remain private. But that’s not the most important part of this story. Readers are reaching out to our bloggers! Our bloggers are becoming influential! That’s the best benchmark for corporate-blogging success!
She didn’t buy it.
The New Media game is all about influence. The Traditionals are all about control.
Just remember this as you are trying to help your company through the transition. As a New Media Evangelist, you are the champion of influence, and by default, you are also the enemy of control.