Most communicators (the better ones anyway) already know you cannot "control" information or people. The most you can hope for is developing a brand promise that can be met.
In other words, the best you can do is to manage your behavior and your communication (or your company's communication when you are charged with writing or speaking it). And by doing so — assuming you have the right passion, energy, realism, and enthusiasm — you might set an example for others to follow, colleagues or coworkers, or inspire consumers to give your company an opportunity to make them customers.
All five fresh picks tap into management in one form or another. And, all five provide a lesson that you can apply today, one that is vastly superior to always being worried about the other guy, whomever that might be.
Best Fresh Content In Review, Week of August 23
• Everyone Is Replaceable.
Andrew Weaver puts his spin on a classic executive reminder that "everyone is replaceable" but with a lesson that some might find surprising. While the old adage might be true, the reminder isn't for employees as much as managers. Given the weakened economy, Weaver alludes to the idea that some managers are taking the easiest possible management path ... fear. Unfortunately, fear has a habit of demoralizing employees even if their output increases over the short term.
• The Connection Between Branding and the Customer Experience.
Jay Ehret presents a simplified take on how branding works within the context of customer service. Specifically, he says that the brand promise plus the personality of the brand provides the expectation or framework for what people expect. The quickest way to kill a brand is to deviate from the framework. When that happens, it breaks trust. Incidentally, a new study conducted by the Relational Capital Group and a team of researchers at Princeton University proves exactly that.
• Staggering Discovery: Goal-Oriented Content Works.
Even before citing six points for goal-oriented content, Valeria Maltoni lays down an important piece of information. She says writing about a subject without passion will circumvent any goals you might have in mind. She's right and that's where her six points come into play. Not only do they serve as a model for what you are trying to do, but they also help some writers remember why they used to be passionate about the subject matter in the first place. By asking yourself the six questions she proposes, you might reignite some passion in your writing.
• When a Good Thing Comes Together: Helping Neighbors in the Gulf of Mexico.
There were several recaps to the Citizen Gulf event held last month and all of them were solid. However, Kami Watson Huyse's recap seemed to go even further in accounting many of the people involved. The best part of Citizen Gulf was that it took the social aspects of online communication and brought them to life in 20 cities across the United States. If you didn't happen to be in one of those cities, you could find enough online updates that you still fell connected.
• The Most Wasted Page On the Web
John Jantsch points out one Web page that seems to have no content management whatsoever — the thank you page. Most companies either waste the space outright or oversell, making customers regret the decision to give up their email address in the first place. In the post, Jantsch provides several ideas that many customers might respond to, including optional surveys, related context (related to why they subscribed), or an instructional page that might prove useful on their next visit.