How to stop talking and start communicating

If you want to tell somebody something, you have to speak their language. And it helps to be in the same room.

  • If you’re on TV and your audience isn’t forget it
  • If you’re using traditional PR to get in papers and magazines and your customers aren’t, forget it
  • If you’re trying to send out email newsletters and your users would prefer text messages, forget it
  • If you’re using forums and the people you want to have a conversation with are reading blogs, forget it

That’s my response to nonsense like this: Why Apple doesn’t have a blogging policy.

IT AIN’T ABOUT BLOGGING. It’s about communication. it’s about sharing information. It’s about solving problems. And while Scoble loves to babble about blogs (because he is, ultimately, a blogger, not a communicator), Apple employees have been out there working with the customer base.

Wander through any of the mailing lists, one of Apple’s core communication tools with their developers. On EVERY list, you’ll come to realize there are Apple engineers on them, answering questions, helping people, doing things. Same with the online forums (Apple’s and others). There are people out there, doing ad-hoc tech support on a regular basis. Some of them actually have it as part of their job description, some of them do it because they feel they should. I’d guess there are 100 Apple employees active on alone, and likely that many on the Apple support boards.

Email lists and forums are for existing clients with technical problems. You’re forgetting people who have not yet exchanged money in their pockets with products on your shelves.

What about the people who want to enlist? What about the people who want to get on the bus? What about the people who want to stop and have a coffee? What about the people who want to join a community? What about the people who want to stop for a minute at the water cooler?

Attitudes like this …

And THAT is why Apple has no blogging policy. Because, frankly, it’d just get in the way of what is already going on: working with and communicating with Apple’s customers.

… are insular. Inward-focused. Limited and limiting.

Not that anything that you’re talking about currently doing is bad. Not at all. But, as always, good is the incessant evil enemy of best.

And best is communicating with all your clients by engaging them where they are, in the language that they speak, with the media that they use.

[tags] apple, blogging, communicating, marketing, web2.0, pr, john koetsier [/tags]