Metaphors are great to make something a lot easier to understand. The constant mantras in social media circles telling businesses in general and customers in particular are pretty easy to understand. Some examples: “listen, learn and interact”, “don’t be afraid of losing control” and “people will talk whether you are there or not. Better be there.”
Still, as easy it is to understand, they lack the kind of power that the metaphor has.
Andy Sernovitz makes it a lot clearer already in his post title: If you were afraid of bad press would you shut down your PR department?
“If you want to increase control in social media, you need to do more social media outreach so people want to talk with you instead of about you.”