Which companies might be ready to decentralize corporate communications?
Most of the discussions here seem to be about technology, but I had an epiphany sitting through a presentation by Jay Baer and Amber Naslund about their new book The Now Revolution that took place during the Egypt Revolution. The book is about the ongoing evolution into social business, where "every customer is a reporter and every employee is a spokesperson for the company." The Revolution was about decentralizing the country's messaging, and ultimately its political system.
In my work with the enterprise doing brand strategy and the communications that go with it, I realize most companies are not prepared for everyone to be a spokesman: most employees don't have the communication skills to do this! Back in the dark ages when I was a college English professor and wrote about rhetoric (the art of persuasion) this was at least studied. Now it isn't. Result? People who can't speak for the company and are reinforced in their inability by being told not to.
I'd like to do one or two engagements with companies willing to experiment with training non-obvious employees to be spokesmen on the way to decentralizing the corporate communications function. Do you think any companies would be willing? It's a multi-disciplinary approach that must involve marketing, support, legal, and the C-suite at the very least. In consumer packaged goods companies it involves the sales force. In health care, the provider support staff.
Can this ever happen? And if it doesn't, which brands will not survive?
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Sarah Lafferty, Communications consultant with 20 years experience in US and European B2B technology industryCommunications consultant with 20 years experience in US and European B2B technology industry
I recommend you speak to Krishnan Chatterjee, Global Head of Marketing, HCL Technologies. HCL is looking at many programmes to upset the traditional 'command and control' organisational model and might be open to this idea. Krishnan is easy to find on LinkedIn and other social networks. I am, by the way, a huge advocate of this model and have written a white paper on how it could be done. Let me know if you'd like me to send you copy.
Liisa Sheldrick, Multidisciplinary communications professional with experience in both corporate and agency settings. Thrives in creative, strategic and i...(more)Multidisciplinary communications professional with experience in both corporate and agency settings. Thrives in creative, strategic and intellectually challenging situations.