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March 07, 2005


Barbara Bates

I think one thing all experienced PR people know...and quite frankly is the big difference between advertising and public that the media...including new media... can't be fully controlled...makes our life exciting!

Giovanni Rodriguez

One thing I love about blogging is that it enables you to tap into the collective wisdom of the group. If "taming" is not the best word -- let's ask others -- I'm open to correction.

What you blog can be like a piece of open-source code; it gets stronger when others take responsibility for removing the flaws.

Elizabeth Albrycht

I love that about blogging too, Giovanni.

I think we need to use words that don't imply "power over", because we cannot, nor to we want to, control/tame/limit/censor what people want to write about, to discuss etc. outside of some rather narrow legal bounds, like libel, and corporate bounds, like breaking NDAs.

We can engage with people, we can guide people (in a transparent, positive way), we can try to persuade people by presenting our own viewpoints, we can argue and debate. We can help our clients understand what is happening, to prepare as best they can. We can influence how a company, for example, presents/adopts blogging. We can anticipate/predict reactions of audiences. We can help organizations build networks of connections. We can teach organizations to treat their customers as human beings vs. a means to an end.

There is no need for us to feel helpless in this new environment. It just requires a different philosophy of communications! Of course, this is going to be a learning process for companies who are used to command/control and want someone to tame the new environment for them! But given that is pretty impossible, better to educate them on what we can do.

Yvonne DiVita

New media, uncontrollable media-- I'm not sure I buy it. Media has been out of control for some time, as far as I'm concerned. I think we have MORE CONTROL now. I think blogging gives control to the citizen publisher, as it should. While it's true that with great power comes great responsibility, it behooves companies to acknowledge the talent in their midst and encourage innovation-- with certain guidelines, I suppose, but without restriction.

At the San Francisco NewComm, the operative phrase was, "Don't be stupid." What does that mean? Nothing. Stupid is a relative term. In business, the sharing of information should be a positive thing...not a restrictive thing. It's 'stupid' to suppose employees will keep quiet about bad business practices or unfair treatment. Is it stupid to write about such things in a blog? Only if the writer is not prepared to stand up for his or her words. The control issue is moot.

On my blog, I own my words. I am in no one's debt, nor is there an editor standing over me to censor me. That's control -- isn't it?

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