When you work anywhere near communication, you will eventually meet scores of tacticians. They are smart people and many of them are needed. They work especially hard developing systems that they can use over and over again. Some of them even like to say "rinse, wash, repeat."
But is life really so easy? Is there some sort of magic formula that anyone can apply and soar to the top? Maybe, but I kind of doubt it. At least not in a tactical way, as important as tactics can be. Just ask the percentage of public relations professionals that used to rely on lists to get the news out (they didn't have a plan for all the turnover). Or, ask the scores of business owners that, sadly, couldn't weather a recession (most of them never planned for one). Or, ask several hundred SEO specialists who recently learned social networks are slowly undermining their coding skills.
As a business owner, you need a plan. And you don't only need a plan that touches on those little daily activities every day, but one that transcends daily actions that can be changed and gamed along the way. You have to build a better strategy, one that gets you from point A to point Z regardless of the weather, economy, or adaptions that occur faster than you can master them.
Best Fresh Content In Review, Week of November 22
• PR Content: A New Architecture?
Although anyone could easily debate Adam Vincenzini's opener that public relations has been responsible for the creation and management of 'news' (we'd like to think actions create news, not a department), there is no mistaking his assessment that the function of public relations is changing again. There is a shift that requires public relations practitioners to understand what news is because they are often charged with developing the content. In other words, some practitioners are learning why their pitches never went anywhere.
• Why We Let Strangers Tell Us What To Buy.
Unbiased (or the appearance of no bias), group intelligence, and reassurance are among the reasons that Jason Keith says we turn to virtual strangers for advice. There is another piece of this puzzle that deserves some notice too. After affirmation (looking for opinions after we've already made up our minds to buy), people turn to the Web because online reviews do not include "us" in the equation like any advice from a friend or family member might. While I don't agree that the quantity influences purchasing decisions as much as the quality of what certain reviews say, Keith still presents a solid consideration of what consumers do every day.
• Do You Have a Plan, or Just a Wish?
Years ago, one of the first things I learned about strategic communication was that setting an objective was never enough. It had to to be reasonable, measurable, and achievable too. Based on what many prospective clients tell us, they often operate in wishes. They want to be market leaders before they ever have their operations in place. Valeria Maltoni pinpoints why we pass on these accounts. They dream of success, but never develop a plan to get themselves there. Sometimes something as simple as outlining the steps you need to take from A to B, as Maltoni writes, can help you appreciate the difference.
•“Social Business” Can’t Replace Product Marketing Skills.
In an unrelated but related post, Geoff Livingston tackles the issue another way, specific to social media. He uses Jumo as an example. There was plenty of social buzz but no real bite. The launch had more than its share of bugs. Lesson learned. Chris Hughes may or may not be a social media genius, but he clearly didn't know how to handle the launch of a network. In contrast, Livingston mentions how Apple doesn't even have a social media program and it still managed to launch a product that has already changed the way we see the Web, at least for those who purchased the product.
• Why Being “Big” On Twitter and Facebook Is Important To Google.
Jeff Bullas recapped Danny Sullivan's interview with Google and Bing, which shed light on why social networks have become increasingly significant in SEO: When people point to articles and blog posts from these networks, it counts. Specifically, Google said it looks at the social authority of a user. It's even more likely to count on Bing's social search, where tweets from more authoritative people flow to the top. One of the reasons both search engine services use this approach is simple enough. It's a lot more difficult to game social networks than spiders.