A guide in the new landscape

by Kristofer Mencák on December 14, 2008

I just read that People don’t trust company blogs – a fact Forrester has dug up. Pretty interesting statistics! Considering that people don’t trust companies very much in general, I am personally even more surprised about the low trust for the personal blog (18 % versus the 16 % for company blogs). But, I have to admit that I am surprised by the low numbers on both.

Returning to the issue, and what Forrester have to say:

“So, what should you do about this?

Make no mistake. This is not a plea to give up on blogging.

It is a plea to be thoughtful in how and why you blog.”

Part of this low trust is probably inherited from the traditional way businesses communicate. It’s about them, their products and what makes them good. It’s not about you.

Now I think you know where we are going. All the “learning it’s about them, it’s a conversation” and so on. Yes it is. And to get there fast, businesses should probably get some help from someone who’s been in this conversation for some time.

The communications business is changing, with more and more people seeing the benefits of dialogue. This is probably where businesses should get knowledge at first, if they are not willing to get out there on their own. But, with an old mindset getting out on your own is pretty risky. There are some lessons learnt already, and it might be smart to take advantage of them. This is where the communications professionals come in.

But, to do it all right, we have to change our mindsets too. I don’t think communications consultants should “ghost write” blogs. PR and communications consultants have to start working in this environment in a different way. Composing the message and communicating it to journalists works in traditional PR-work. But this constantly shifting landscape is different. Conversation works better. Transparency works better. Humility works better.

The job for communications consultants in this new landscape is to really be consultants. We should be informed advisors. We should know our way around. We should be the guide that can take a business by the hand and lead them right.

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