Sure, getting those messages out represents a big step to what went on before but the achievement as I’ve said before shouldn’t stop at that.
I’ve pondered for a while what the next steps may be from my own corner of the digital allotment. Occasionally I look across at people like fellow local government officers Carl Haggerty and Phil Rumens who think big picture digital things and I sit back on my shovel and I ponder.
For comms people it’s getting involved with channel shift and helping an organisation score some savings while offering people a better service. Yes, but what else?
As barriers blur and the internet changes everything it’s fascinating for a comms person like me to think beyond the argument that press releases are dead.
There’s been a fascinating debate just recently by a post from SOCITM president Steve Halliday who suggested that digital in local government should be helping to solve ‘wicked’ problems.
What’s a wicked problem? It’s the term given to particularly uncrackable local government issues that tend to crop up in places like social care or planning.
In this world he suggests information sharing using a secure web to network could maybe bring professionals together to crack those particular thorny headaches. It’s a measure of how things have evolved that people are thinking of using this social media stuff to tackle the real grown-up problems.
On the question of whether we should use digital to tackle these ‘wicked’ issues he’s absolutely right.
Then a few things that keep nagging at me like the clunk of a mobile phone left inside a coat that’s being put through the washing machine that asks you to do something about it.
Firstly, there was a bold call to action from Coventry City Council chief executive Martin Reeves who at the #10by10wm event 12-months ago in Coventry told a room full of geeks to stop evangelising about social media but come armed with solutions… which incidentally may have some social media in them.
On that, he’s absolutely right.
And there’s a third snippet which has lodged in my head from former civil servant Gerald Power. He said that to make a big difference you need to tackle the big problems in your organisation the really big ticket issues need to be tackled. Not the little ones.
On that he’s right too.
But all that Big Problem tackling would take time, effort and resources at a time when there is none. But if that Big Problem affected 100 of the 350 or so councils and cost, say, £1 million a year then would a one-off £50,000 project make sense?
But who is there to identify the problem and scrape together the time, effort, collective will and resources?
The mantra of JFDI – just flipping do it – has taken us a long way but this feels too big and too important to leave to people working under the radar.
What’s the answer? I’m just a comms person fascinated with how we can use the internet better to make a difference. I’ll leave that for other people to ponder.
Allotment notice http://www.flickr.com/photos/48778414@N04/8536372179/
— Dan Slee (@danslee) November 25, 2013
So, what’s to share from a trip to the Russian Ambassador’s residence in London for a discussion on how the internet shapes political decision?
Actually, quite a lot and not just that it’s a very large house in Westminster. And no, there was no Ferrero Roche. It was hosted by Jimmy Leach the former head of digital at the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office and had Tom Whitwell the head of digital operations at The Times and Sunday Times and Guido Fawkes blogger Paul Staines. Conservative MP Douglas Carwell began with a discussion on the birth of what he calls ‘i-democracy’.
Maybe it was because we are British but the alleged treatment of dissidents was not raised until almost the end of the session and it was Guido Fawkes who mentioned it in passing.
For all that it was a discussion about democracy and what it looks like and is shaped by the web in 2013 there were some useful take-homes for someone interested in digital communications.
Here are 18 things I learned from the event
- The Russian Ambassador’s residence is a mighty grand place.
- At Westminster, there are backbench MPs who have a greater profile than ministers in government.
- We are not yet at a stage where elections are decided by social media.
- E-mail played a major and unheralded part in the election victory of Barack Obama but it’s never had the attention that social media had.
- People really, really hate spammy or insincere emails.
- Digital democracy can also include unsubscribing from spammy and insincere emails.
- At the next election, the difference between the two largest parties is that the Conservatives are favouring Facebook and Labour are focussing more on Twitter.
- At the last UK general election, social media gave a skewed view of what would happen at the polls with more traffic for Labour not equating to votes.
- In Telford, the election of the police commissioner was won by a candidate who tweeted once and the one with the biggest online profile finished third.
- There is a feeling that it is only a matter of time before the UK government more closely regulate social media.
- Under current defamation laws, a 15-year-old tweeter is treated just the same as a newspaper editor.
- Twitter has democratised comment and there are political commentators who have been rendered obsolete by it.
- Until 1918, an MP seeking to join the government by being appointed a minster in a re-shuffle had to resign and stand again in a by-election before taking office.
- The smoked salmon at the Russian Ambassador’s residence is very good.
- The e-petition asking for Jeremy Clarkson to be PM wasn’t deleted when it was first posted because Jimmy Leach was ‘too tired.’
- The screening mechanism for angry letters is well developed in government. Less so for social media. Twenty people write on a topic and little happens. Twenty tweet and it gets seen as a movement and consultants get called in.
- A good blog is simply good stories well told, say The Times.
- Twitter may not be a force for democratic good. It’s owned by one company in America. The jury of history is still out.
That’s why with the Walsall Town Stories event we will try and use it to give an idea of the people who work in the town centre.
Twenty people whose jobs are often celebrated will be featured as part of the initiative on Friday October 25.
Starting at 6am, for an hour each they will be shadowed and their story relayed via @walsallcouncil before they pass on to someone else.
There will be a range of people from Walsall Council staff who do an uncelebrated job like the street cleaner and the trading standards officer to the market trader and the curry house worker.
Two things have helped shape it. The @sweden account which is passed to a new Swede every week and also the wonderful Kabul: A City At Work series which uses film and a blog post to ask who the people are who do day-to-day jobs.
Why those two? Because they allow a human face to develop.
When we did #Walsall24 a few years back we wanted to develop the idea to see where it would take us. It’s a simple model that can work in all sorts of organisations and the LGA have done some great things with it in pushing it out as a national initiative called #ourday. But it will be interesting to see how an hour of time can tell a human story.
You can follow the event by following @walsallcouncil.
I’ll whack up a storify after the event here too.
When I played for a 4th team in the North Staffs League it was also vicious grudge matches, a batsman who could only score fours and sixes and cows at cow corner.
My greatest contribution? Probably to persuade the club to be one of the first in their league to adopt Twitter.
Mostly, this blog is about digital communications in local government. Now my son has started to play for a team himself I’m more thinking about how a team can best use the 140-character platform. There’ll be lessons for all organisations, of course. Stick with me if cricket isn’t your bag. It’ll be back to Facebook and PR next week.
So, isn’t Twitter just people talking about their dinner?
If you want it to. You can just use it for people talking about bacon sandwiches. But you don’t have to. When you buy the Sunday papers you end up throwing most of it away. You may be interested in five or six subjects. Twitter allows you to search on those subjects to find other people interested in them. As well as experts, bloggers and magazines that talk about them. Social media is a conversation and Twitter is one way of chipping into that conversation.
Three things to think about:
Be social. Talk. Contribute. Listen. Check your replies and replay back. It’s far more social.
Be timely. Things work best in realtime. As they happen. Not six hours after they have.
Be a champion. For any cricket club to make it work you don’t need a digital native. You need someone who loves the club, loves cricket and has a mobile phone.
21 ways you can use Twitter as a cricket club
1. You can use the #cricketfamily hashtag to connect with other cricket people
A hashtag is quite simply a word with the # symbol added to it. On Twitter you can create one on any subject that you like. But you’ll find a whole bunch of people talking about the subject. During the Ashes, you didn’t need to listen to Test Match Special if you were away from a telly. You could check the #ashes hashtag to get an instant idea on what was going on.
A year or two second XI skipper Marcus Charman saw the plight of Langwith CC who were down on their luck and the #cricketfamily hashtag was born. It’s a hashtag where the good and positive side of cricket could connect with each other.
Marcus and Langwith CC’s tweets about club cricket flew back and forth, earmarked through #cricketfamily and other clubs began to use the hashtag to ask questions and swap ideas.
As is the way with the astonishing speed of social media, the growth of cricket clubs on Twitter (which has mushroomed in 2011/12), led to hundreds interacting and helping, from fundraising to friendlies.
You can read the full story here.
2. You can tell people when the teams are picked
— TABS Cricket Club (@tabscricket) August 28, 2013
3. You can tell people where the fixtures are
— Knowle & Dorridge CC (@The_Shire_) August 30, 2013
4. You can arrange fixtures through the @sundaycricketer Twitter stream
Back in the day if you wanted to arrange a friendly you had to rely on your brother-in-law’s mate who played for a cricket club. You’d send a text. You may get a reply. There was also an 84-year-old in Old Hill who used to act as an unpaid fixture arranger. But tweet the @sundaycricketer Twitter and you can arrange a last minute friendly or a tour game.
— Stowmarket CC (@stowmarketcc) August 27, 2013
5. You can tell people score flashes on matchday
You’re sat at Endon playing for the 4ths and you need to know what the 1st XI are doing in a must-win match. There used to be text. But what happens when the textee is out at the middle? Twitter allows you to post score updates as the game progresses. Twitter works really well as a place to post real time information.
Drinks at Bromsgrove X1 now 68 for 4, George given out , interesting decision but they even out over a career KP @BrewoodCricket
— Bromsgrove Cricket (@BoarsCricket) August 26, 2013
6. You can celebrate individual performances
So, when one of your players has played a blinder you can celebrate the fact with a suitable tweet. Even though they get bowled next ball.
SKIPPER LAWRENCE HITS A 100……..and then promptly gets bowled next ball?! Magnificent knock worthy of winning any promotion. 2nds 158/4
— Penkridge CC (@PenkridgeCC) August 31, 2013
7. You can promote events that are taking place
Post a flyer onto Twitter to share the events that are taking place that you’ve lovingly organised.
8. You can celebrate what younger players are doing
Good teams have a decent youth set-up. With the permission of parents you can add a picture of the next generation to keep parents informed and the children a pat on the bat. You’ll need parental permission of course.
— Chester-le-Street CC (@cls_cricketclub) September 1, 2013
9. You can tell players about meetings
Nets, AGM, EGM and all that jazz. The sort of things you’d like players to go to. You can stick it on Twitter as another way of reaching people.
To all those who will be attending nets on Thursday : We need to hold a very quick EGM after nets to change the… http://t.co/CsBC62dlJ3
— Bollington CC (@BollyCC) September 2, 2013
10. You can tweet what your ground looks like
Trying to tempt people down to enjoy a drink / play / make the tea? Maybe a shot of the ground in the sunshine may be a way forward. Here’s a shot from a Sydney ground.
— Mosman Cricket Club (@MosmanCricket) November 3, 2012
11. You can tweet weather flashes
With your ground under water and the covers on the temptation is to shut-up shop. Heck, no! Post a picture and show the world the puddles on the outfield.
Not looking so bad for tomorrow now but we are ready! pic.twitter.com/MnfMpg2eR7
— Quatt Cricket Club (@QuattCC) August 23, 2013
12. You can remind people they can come and enjoy watching cricket at your ground
It’s baking hot. It’s a lovely summers day. There’s a new barrel on. So, why not tell people and make them welcome down at your ground? Yet, very few clubs really open the door to the rest of the community when their ground is the best place to be anywhere in England.
13. You can recruit new players
When you are down on numbers a shout on Twitter can help you track down a new opening bat, a six-year-old who fancies a game or maybe an overweight purveyor of dibbly dobblies who can hold down third man and long off.
14. You can arrange nets
Every Thursday there’s nets staged at an indoor sports centre in Tividale in the West Midlands. It gets arranged every week via Twitter if there are enough people. Sometimes we remember to add the #jiminycricketnets hashgtag.
15. You can be part of the community
If the social club, community centre, charity or football team in your town, village or estate has an event and posts details of it online then share them. That way you are being part of the community and they’ll share what you are saying too. Everyone loves a sharer.
16. You can market events and fundraisers – if you are not too salesy
Nobody likes junk mail. That stuff that gets pushed through your letterbox. It’s not very social. Nobody likes the car salesman who is trying to sell cars to his friends and family when he’s out at the pub. So don’t do it. Think about a balance of things you’d like people to do and buy with some interesting content they’re going to find engaging. An 80:20 split weighted towards the interesting and human is fine.
17. You can post audio to the Twitter stream
Wollaton Cricket Club have a brilliant soundcloud stream where they grumpily interview each other as to how the game went. Soundcloud is an application you can download to a smartphone. It’s very straightforward to use.
18. You can post coaching tips to the Twitter stream
There’s a stack of free content that’s out there on YouTube already. Make the most of it. Here’s how Michael Vaughan used to carry out the cover drive like a young Dan Slee.
19. You can livestream a game
It wouldn’t be right not to round-up suggestions for Twitter and cricket without mentioning Wray v The Rest of the World which was livestreamed thanks to John Popham and others. Initially, this was a demonstration of how broadband could be used in a rural setting. But after Stephen Fry supported it it got global coverage. The story is here. But it does beg the question why cricket clubs can’t livestream footage on a Sunday afternoon. With applications such as Bambuser they can.
20. You can talk about how good the cricket teas are
Seeing as nothing brings people together like cake there’s plenty of room to expand on this. With pictures too.
Early contender for tea of the season at @StourbridgeCC yesterday
— Stratford CC (@StratfordCric) May 5, 2013
Twitter works best when you realise that this is not a sales machine but a conversation. You can contribute to the conversation. That’s the case whether you are a cricket club, a company or an organisation.
21. You can post pictures
Of the game that’s being played and the idyllic summer sky. Then in winter you can look back and in the words of The Kinks’ Ray Davies, prove that summer existed.
Celebrate what you want to see more of is a good maxim for life. Which is why I’ve been been involved in a project that celebrates some of the best local government social media use not just in the West Midlands but, let’s be honest here, the best in the UK, Europe and frankly the World.
It’s not often in life we put down our pens, pause and actually celebrate the things that we’re good at. In the West Midlands we’re good at social media. Not just good but really good. We know how to do it well and we’d quite like the chance to do more of it, please.
That’s why we wrote the Best by West Midlands whitepaper which I’m hugely proud of. I strongly urge if you are intereseted in digital communications as a comms officer or if you are on the frontline you download it or you take a look at the microsite.
It offers a take on where we are and it shows where we need to go to. Why do I like it? Bercause it shows that people are passionate about improving the services that are offered to people where they live. Even when things are difficult and when their jobs are on the line. One local government officer postponed her holiday just to be at the launch. That’s quite amazing. But not if you know people who are working with social channels and passionately believe in the difference they can make.
What is the Best by West Midlands whitepaper?
This cracker of a thing is a 16-page report and microsite. It’s something that I’ve been involved with wearing a comms2point0 hat for the excellent IEWM. In a word, it is brilliant. Its brilliance comes from the good work being carried out across the region at museums, in woodland, by social care, by people in their community taking pictures and also by communications teams who act as enlightened gatekeepers who are sharing sweets and building capacity.
In one of the slides at the launch event I posted the words ‘Wake up London, you’re dead.’ This is probably overdoing it a bit. But only by a bit. But the underlying point of that statement is this. The community in the West Midlands that helped shape Best by West Midlands are not looking and waiting for an edict from London to do good things. They just are doing good things. They’re looking to other places for inspiration across the region and across different sectors from Monmouth, Cornwall and Northumberland too.
It’s the culmination of five years of work
For me, at any rate, this is a the continuation of a timeline that started five years ago listening to talk of the possibilities of social, to four years ago localgovcamp in Birmingham which changed how I do and think and to events like Hyper WM, brewcamp that I’m involved with and others like UK Govcamp that you can’t help but learn from.
How you can use Best by West Midlands
You can get tips of barrier vaulting past the gatekeepers
You can – if you are a chief executive or a senior officer – deploy some arguments as to why your organisation should be dragged along.
You can learn more about evaluation and ROI. In short: yes, you can. No, it’s not audience. It’s the numbers that are actually the ones that matter to you most.
You can learn more about the digital landscape in the West Midlands.
You can use the survey headline results
We surveyed 31 of the 33 councils n the West Midlands and boy we tried with the remaining two. We found that trust and training are barriers and that elected members were using it in greater numbers than senior officers. When 97.5 per cent expected their use to increase this is cause for concern. You can see the full stats here and here is a snapshot.
- All West Midlands councils have at least one Twitter and one Facebook account
- 85% of respondents said that is very important that their councils uses social media
- And 92.5% said it is very important to use social media in their roles
- Yet only 37.5% claimed their council’s usage was high
- And only 25% claimed that their council’s use of social media was effective
- 47.5% of communications people said that their use was high
- Training and trust are the biggest barriers to greater use of social media today
- Only 15% of respondents said that there were no barriers
So, what is the challenge?
Have we got everything nailed? Is this just backslapping? Actually, it’s no to both. While we think we’re doing a good job the challenges get bigger. Gritting is one area we’ve got nailed. Everytime we go out we tell people. But if we’re still talking of this as being at the cutting edge of where we are at with digital we will have failed.
The real challenge is to see how social can make a difference where it is needed most. Ask yourself where people within local government are most worried. What keeps them awake at night? Universal credit. Public health. Housing. They’re the big ticket areas we need to tackle that in truth we need to tackle.
Creative commons credits
Best by West Midlands report http://www.flickr.com/photos/danieldslee/9374406595/
Birmingham Pylon http://www.flickr.com/photos/auspices/3093305495/
Acton Scott Historic Working Farm http://bestbywm.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/twitter-for-acton-scott/
Job descriptions we used to have don’t hold up anymore. There used to be a dedicated customer services team but as Eddie Coates-Madden has said on many occasions we’re all now customer services now.
Why? Because once you start to use digital channels you open a door to anew world. It’s one where people can talk back to you, ask questions, be snarky, be nice and to ask why haven’t the bins gone out.
Customer services on Twitter really fascinates me. For the first 18 months using @walsallcouncil I was it. When I asked for Christmas Day dinner to be postponed for 10 minutes because we were going out gritting and I had to tweet it I kind of new I was probably in too deep.
There is a rather fascinating new Twitter that has sprung out of leftfield. It’s called @whs_carpet and it tweets pictures of carpets in WH Smiths branches across the country.
How niche! I hear you say. You’d be right. But what this does is actually shine a light on the customer services and priorities of this High Street and train station shop for newspapers, books, pens and bars of chocolate for a pound.
Biscuits? Sand? pic.twitter.com/cY0fC51XWX
— WHS_Carpet (@WHS_Carpet) June 30, 2013
It’s also really quite fascinating.
What it says in a very subtle way is say that if the shop can’t be bothered about the state of the floor, what does it say about how it treats its staff and its customers?
Or more directly, the impression you get from the stream is (parental advisory required)
The subtext revealed by @WHS_Carpet is, basically, “we don’t give a fuck about our shops or our workers, just buy our stuff and piss off”
— Pete Hindle (@petehindle) July 3, 2013
But Dan, this is supposed to be a blog about comms and social media? Yes, it is. But we’re all customer services now, remember? Besides, I’d love to see how the WM Smiths comms team – and customer service – address it. Right now, it’s an elephant in the room and no-one from the organisation, as they say, has been available to talk about the biscuit crumbs in Brighton, the worn vinyl in Hitchin or the growing stain on the company’s reputation.
You can also read Stefan Czerniawski’s post on poorly handled online customer service complaints here.
Creative commons credit
Earlier in the year I presented this rather fine deck of slides to LGComms in Manchester and wrote a blog post around the subject of Die Press Release, Die! Die! A post partly inspired by the rather fine Tom Foremski post of the same name from way back in 2006. A whole load of text words and images.
It turns out I was wasting my time. What I really should have done was to just show this table from Fred Godlash from the BusinessWired blog. It talked about a post they wrote in 2007 that put the price of a press release at $5,000. The equivalent price is $7,500 they surmised. Oh, how I wish that was the case for the corner of the public sector that I work in that collectively put out more than 1,000 in the previous 12-month period. You can read the full post here.
But what really caught my eye was a table that set out the reasons for writing a press release in 2007 compared to 2013. I’ve reproduced it here:
Why? Because it really nails the motivation behind getting a message out. In the past the aim was ink inches and coverage in the local newspaper. Today, the aim for any communications person is to think both print and digital.
The question is, are you? And how are you doing it? If you are not what are you doing about it?
Creative commons credit
Refreshingly, the UK government has stood up and on The Guardian website admitted it had a good idea. But not a definitive one.
The newspaper asks readers what it would tell Alex Aiken the government’s executive director of government communications. Which is either a blast of refreshing openness or a bit of window dressing. Actually, let’s take them at face value. Because no-one really has the last word. And Alex used to be localgov as I am now.
A changing landscape
If you are interested in communications, have a look at the new draft communications plan here.
Not only that but whole swathes of the government-wide communications plan should be printed out and shared vigorously. Not least the paragraph:
“We are operating against a fast changing backdrop.
“Digital TV and broadband access at home are now the norm.
“45 per cent of viewing is now of non-terrestrial channels, three times more than ITV1.
“Half of homes now have some form of personal video recorder such as Sky Plus.
“Newspaper sales continue to decline but the growth of online versions means that some content – often entertainment related-news stories – can reach more people than ever before.
“Social media channels are playing an ever greater role in spreading news and opinion.”
That they see that the landscape is changing is a profound relief to me. The facts loom so large as to be undeliable and people are starting slowly to grasp this. Whether we are all moving as fast as we could to embrace change is something else.
“In simple terms government should continue to shift from a static or traditional view of channels and audiences to one that reflects people’s lives, preferences and influences.”
It also talks about the three things that government comms needs to do. The legal obligation to tell people about big planning matters, for example. Or the explaining Minister’s priorities. And the attempt to change behaviours.
For local government too…
It’s tempting to think that local government can do this too. At a stroke. As a sector. But that would be silly. And it also forgets that people in Devon know more about what channels Devon people use than people who live in Dudley. But it’s absolutely the path that local government comms needs to go down.
It also means that comms people need to acknowledge they may not have all the answers to comms any more. Will that undermine the profession? Not, really. A bit of refreshing honesty is vital. Besides, I’ve learned so much about digital comms from bloggers, engineers and environmental health officers.
The 37 skills a comms person will need
Last summer I wrote a post that talks about the 37 skills we’ll need. I was a bit wrong. We won’t all need those. But you can bet your bottom dollar that teams will and the more you’ll have the better it’ll be for you.
The list includes traditional, digital, community building, mapping, infographics, social media, story telling, political nous and lots more beside.
We’ll need better training. We’ll need better ways to share good ideas. We’ll need more things like commscamp where local and central government people came together to do just that (disclaimer: I helped organise that.)
But more important than that, much more we’ll need the space to experiment and try new things. That’ll come from the top. It’ll come from Ministers themselves and senior officers. Or rather, it’ll come from our ability to re-train the Minister that something on Twitter is more important than the Today programme’s running order. Or in local government terms, that’s the local newspaper.
When I was a journalist we had an amazing media law refresher. We returned to the chalk face keen to push the boundaries. We were slapped down by our news editors. Training is wasted unless the people at the top get it too.
Salvation will come from an ongoing bombardment of stats, facts, figures, reporting back and internal communications. We think training is the answer. It’s not. It’s the start. Space to fail and learn from failing is.
But we also need to think about trust. More specifically, the Edelman Trust Barmeter that talks of how trust in institutions is up. But trust in those at the top is low but trust in those at the bottom is high. In other words, we don’t believe the chief executive of Royal Mail. But we trust our postman.
We need to be able to deliver comms outside of comms and give the people on the frontline the tools to communicate like West Midlands Police do and like we do in growing parts of local government too. At this point I link to Morgan Bowers a countryside ranger at Walsall Council with 1,100 followers on Twitter who are receptive to explanations about why saplings have to be cut down.
It’ll also mean hiring bloggers for their skills. Not just journalists.
So much is made in the Government document about savings. I’d like to hear more about results and what exciting possibilities we have stretching out in front of us too, please.
Published in 1999 as the product of a web forum the 95 points sketches out how the social web will work and what the future will look like.
It’s bold stuff. The old way of doing things are dead. Thanks to the web people can organise themselves far faster than organisations. The organisation that fails to realise all this will be left behind.
Not all of the points have come true. But enough have to make a closer reading of the original 95-points part of your reading list. The 10 year anniversary paperback with essays around the subject is worth a punt. But the original list will do just fine.
For those on the bow wave of innovation this will be nothing new. But to comms people coming to terms with the changing landscape it’s good advice.
For me, the thing that shines through really clearly is the importance of using the human voice.
On the social web, the streams that, in the wise words of blogger Adrian Short ‘speak human’ are the ones that connect best and in times of stress have some social capital to fall back on. Social capital, by the way, is the indefinable sense of appreciation when someone talks to you like a human and even helps you out on a thing or two.
Just to whet your appetite here are 16 of them comms people need to know right here:
- Markets are conversations.
- Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.
- Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.
- Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived.
- The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.
- In just a few more years, the current homogenized “voice” of business—the sound of mission statements and brochures—will seem as contrived and artificial as the language of the 18th century French court.
- Companies need to lighten up and take themselves less seriously. They need to get a sense of humor.
- Getting a sense of humor does not mean putting some jokes on the corporate web site. Rather, it requires big values, a little humility, straight talk, and a genuine point of view.
- Companies need to come down from their Ivory Towers and talk to the people with whom they hope to create relationships.
- Public Relations does not relate to the public. Companies are deeply afraid of their markets.
- To speak with a human voice, companies must share the concerns of their communities.
- You’re invited, but it’s our world. Take your shoes off at the door. If you want to barter with us, get down off that camel!
- We want you to take 50 million of us as seriously as you take one reporter from The Wall Street Journal.
- We know some people from your company. They’re pretty cool online. Do you have any more like that you’re hiding? Can they come out and play?
- Our allegiance is to ourselves—our friends, our new allies and acquaintances.
- We are waking up and linking to each other. We are watching. But we are not waiting.
Creative commons credits: