James Governor's Monkchips

Ready Your Company For The Burst Economy: Kill PR, mashup IT and marketing. A 7 Step Program

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Alan at Folknology threw out one of those posts the other day that is brilliant because, not despite the fact, its a rant. He didn’t give it a particularly catchy title, but you can’t have everything. I am stealing the whole thing:

1. Scrap the IT and Marketing departments and replace with a new department called “Communications”.
2. Hardwire clients and suppliers into the new ‘Comms dept’ by destroying your call centers and accounting bouncers by replacing with wikis, blogs and home brewed social software build on web/SaaS APIs.
3. Have the folks who used to work in marketing participate in and enable blogs.
4. Fire your PR company, use the money to hire good bloggers and evangelists.
5. Have the Folks formerly know as ‘The I.T. dept’ build and run wikis and the locally brewed social software, have them report to the bloggers.
6. Outsource legacy IT, and move away from it.
7. Transform your business into a purple cow, which will surely happen as you actually learn what the market place actually needs and desires.

It strikes me that what Alan describes is quite a lot like the smarter startups we see at the moment. Decisions about how and where to apply budget must be reassessed in light of 2.0 dynamics.

One comment

  1. James, you may remember me from olden times. I’m still a PR person working in a PR agency and I totally agree with the sentiment and content of the post above. I think it will only take about 100 years before nearly every other company will be like this. I would also add ‘scrap the R&D department and get your customers to tell you what they want and then get them to help build it’; I would not lump everyone under communications as the responsibility for that is housed within every single employee otherwise reputational risk on the brand will be at threat through constant transparency issues.

    Of course, I’m going to take issue about sacking PR people or agencies though. If I could teach everyone within the company not to be rude, short or bad tempered to their customers, to treat them with respect, to actively listen to them, to take under consideration their thoughts and to follow up on activity and keep them up to date, then I’d happily recommend getting rid of the PR industry all together. The role I play is of communications facilitation and channel-opening, finding things that are useful to communities and engendering conversations. That doesn’t happen with people who are focused on developing products and services they ‘think’ customers will like. Until the way in which products and services are fundamentally designed changes (as it can and does happen in small, agile VC-funded companies as you rightly point out) in large organisations, people will always need to be reminded about respect for the customer and the company’s place in the food chain.

    Then perhaps, there will be no need for PR or the analyst community, eh? 😉

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