“I don’t usually like reading interviews I’ve done, because I’m always saying,
I DIDN’T SAY THAT!”
But this one is a good one. The Seth Godin Interview – Global PR Blog Week 1.0.
I talk about the brand cocktail party and PR and blogs and stuff.’ [From Seth’ Blog]
본인이 괜찮다고 한 만큼, 찌라시들이 흔히들 하곤 하는 작문인터뷰는 아닌것 같으니,
Global PR Blog Week Day 5 : The Seth Godin Interview
PR MACHINE: Does the Seth Godin brand have any particular advice to the PR industry in terms of effectively and ethically using the Internet medium via blogging?
SETH GODIN: Two moms are talking. One mom says, “Oy vey! My son is going to become a lawyer! He’s so smart and so good and I don’t know where we went wrong.” The other mother consoles her… “at least he’s not going into PR.”
The giant upheaval for marketers is that the ‘channels’ of media (newspaper, radio, TV, net) are exploding in number while simultaneously imploding in impact. As a result, a plug on Oprah or in the New York Times (the survivors) is priceless, while just about all the rest doesn’t matter as much as it used to. So… blogging looks tempting. Blogging looks like an easy way to get ink, an easy way to get your message out there. Bloggers, after all, are amateurs, right.
The problem is that this medium is amateur at its best. Amateur which means that bloggers aren’t bored, bloggers aren’t lazy and bloggers aren’t just trying to fill space. The traditional PR approach isn’t going to work (at least for now). What works is bringing actual news and actual remarkable stuff to people who care.
PR MACHINE: McDonald’s vp of marketing, Larry Light, introduced a new marketing strategy which entails using many stories rather than employing one message to reach everyone. He called this new strategy “Brand Journalism.” How do you think this will affect McDonald’s public relations outreach and media management…will the company tell different stories to different media outlets if it wants?
SETH GODIN: I think the vision is just fine, IF McDonald’s also changes the product. Spin isn’t going to be enough. The challenge is going to be to make stuff worth talking about, and then giving the PR people the freedom to follow through.
PR MACHINE: You recently implied on your blog on June 19th, 2004 (Seth’s Blog) that marketers don’t really get to run the conversation that McDonald’s marketing vp, Larry Light, is inviting…via his term, “Brand Journalism,” because, as you said, “It’s not really brand journalism that’s happening…it’s Brand Cocktail Party! You get to set the table and invite the first batch of guests, but after that the conversation is going to happen with or without you.” If you say that the brand journalism conversation is going to happen with or “without you” don’t you think PR folks should attempt to manage it [the conversation] by continually staying involved with it (by interacting with it and perhaps attempting to proactively direct it)?
SETH GODIN: I think (but what do I know) that PR pros can add a huge amount of value by focusing on P, not R. By working with the company as the voice of the public, helping them understand how to make stuff worth talking about. Moving upstream ever closer to the core of the factory.
PR MACHINE: Do you believe that blogs pose a “threat of true interactivity” and that rapid online dialogue is challenging the power of corporate branding?
SETH GODIN: Blogs help formalize and record conversations, but they’re not the whole conversation. I do believe that blogs make it harder than ever to snow the public.
PR MACHINE: Given your expert status in the online arena, and familiarity with online media measurement services, do you think PR will come to mirror the measurements of interactive marketing and online advertising by focusing more on ROI (e.g. each link and each piece of content that is moved in the blogosphere will be studied for its contribution to the overarching corporate brand goal of customer messaging, acquisition, lifetime value retention and reputation management)?
SETH GODIN: If you’re [PR professionals] not using Technorati to watch what people are saying, I’m not sure you’re [PR professionals] doing your job!
PR MACHINE: When PR people pitch yourself and media professionals, it certainly isn’t permission marketing (your mantra). What is your take on RSS feeds as the newfound ‘reach channel’ for PR professionals to use?
SETH GODIN: RSS is a huge step forward. It lets you talk (in an unfiltered, time effective way) to the people who want to hear from you. Imagine how much more effective you’d be if you had an RSS slot on the desktop of 100 or 1000 key influencers!
PR MACHINE: How will RSS feeds affect your argument for permission marketing? Do you believe that RSS feed are the ultimate form of permission marketing? How will the strategies you recommend to marketers change? Do you feel then that corporate America will fully adopt them for marketing purposes? Why or why not?
SETH GODIN: I don’t know if it’s the ultimate, but it’s a lot better than email! If you [PR professionals] don’t know what RSS is, go to Google and take a look. You need to be on top of this.
PR MACHINE: In Business Week’s article, “The Vanishing Mass Market” they wrote that “mass media is fragmenting at an accelerating rate” and that “a heterogeneous marketplace requires much more one-to-one communication, instead of one-to-many communication, like advertising.” Do you think that blogging can be one of the ways PR meets this one-to-one communication need and do you think that blogging can be an effective PR tool? If so, how?
SETH GODIN: No, stop seeing it as a solution. It’s a tactic that leads to an overhaul to what you do. If all you do is view this as a new way to do your old job, you will fail. Fail! I hope that the PR community doesn’t wreck this medium, but I’m not optimistic.
PR MACHINE: In your view can brands benefit, as the Cluetrain Manifesto said, from the openness that blogs provide by tapping the credibility that comes through dialogue and honest conversation vs. the old black-boxed credibility of the “expert’?
SETH GODIN: Sure, if they don’t manipulate it. Am I a broken record, yet? Imagine someone in high school trying to game the gossip networks, trying to “tap the credibility” of the jocks. What a failure that would be. The way to live in a community is to live there.
PR MACHINE: Are companies really prepared for their customers to talk back? And if they aren’t prepared, what will happen to their brands? Will those brands lose control and die? Or, do you think they will open up and address these “threats”?
SETH GODIN: Companies have no clue. They view customer feedback as a cost and a threat, not an opportunity.
PR MACHINE: Your views of email and online political advertising were well known back in 1999 and paved the way for people like Howard Dean. What was your opinion of Howard Dean’s approach to interactive marketing by blogging and email and how do you view John Kerry’s outreach in comparison?
SETH GODIN: I think Dean appeared to do so many things right. At many levels, though, the community picked him, not the other way around. Dean was smart enough not to stop it. He lost the election when his actual “product” didn’t match the expectations the online early adopters had established for him. Not his fault… but he went much much farther than he would without it. I think this might be the last presidential election where the Kerry/Bush/Big politics money machine (half a billion dollars this time) is going to be the key to winning.
PR MACHINE: What do you think the impact of bloggers at the upcoming national political conventions (Republican vs. Democratic) will be?
SETH GODIN: Almost zero.