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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Community > PR

The writing is on the wall: public relations is no longer a separate, stand-alone, 1-way marcom channel. Technology has empowered consumers and opened up (one-to-many & one-to-one) communication and relationship building opportunities. The proof is in the pudding:

- Press releases are no longer the only source of "news" - check out this Oracle homepage screenshot, where the most recent press releases AND a blog posting appear together

- Blogs encourage 2-way dialogue - comments and responses
- Dialogue is happening in online communities, both formal and informal, where consumers are sharing their brand experiences...good, bad, and those that are just plain interesting
- Experiential marketing has exploded

The BIG questions marketers face is in how to deal with this, either pro-actively or passively/reactively:

1. Serve as one of the hosts of this dialogue or stay out of conversation altogether (not recommended!). Hosting the dialogue requires you to address any product, service, or customer experience issues that tie in to your brand promise and to be true

2. Integrate and/or align your marketing and communications channels - anything that happens online is 'community,' even if its a campaign that is marketing-driven, lead/sales-oriented, etc.

3. Develop strategies for moving forward effectively in what will surely be a major shift for most organizations


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