Today at lunch I met with quite a few colleagues to discuss Naked Conversations. We had a fantastic group of individuals representing many industries: legal, public relations, television, telecomm, internet, email marketing, sports, entertainment, information technology, marketing and publishing!
Not bad for a first showing!
Most of us had fully read Naked Conversations, some were part way through it, and a few had actually implemented some of the material from the book. My colleagues can feel free to chip in if they would like, but here's my impression of the luncheon, feedback on the book, as well as blogging in general:
- Blogging may not be for all companies. If you are not going to be transparent, you may do more harm to your company than good.
- Your customers are going to have conversations with or without you. Why not try to control the direction of that conversation by being the first to blog about it? A message forum waits for your clients to ask. A blog is your opportunity to comment before it's asked.
- Blogging policies are useless. When employees blog, adding an inappropriate post is no less damaging than saying it in a email, or over the phone, or in a conversation. Employees are accountable to what they say through any medium. If you are the blogger… when in doubt, ask! (Example: I didn't ask permission from the group if I could list their names, companies, comments, etc. so I'm not going to here)
- Resources were a concern and a topic of conversation. Where's the time? What's the strategy? What's the message?
- It's easy to blog, but you must learn how to leverage the technologies behind your blog… RSS, links, trackbacks, pings, comments, etc.
- If blogging is deployed as a strategy, what is the return on investment? This was a healthy discussion. I think the general consensus was that it's no longer an option where a return on investment should be evaluated… it's a demand and expectation from your customers to open these lines of communication. Otherwise, they'll simply go elsewhere!
If you're a business, marketing or technology professional in the Indianapolis region and would like to join us for our Book Club, simply register at I Choose Indy! and submit your story on why you've chosen Indianapolis. We'll put you in our distribution email with the name of the next book we're going to read and when we're going to follow up on it.
On a side note, Shel Israel had a trip oversees cancelled and is open to do some consulting. As he puts it, I'll Consult for Mortgage Money. Special thanks to Mr. Israel for his book and for inspiring quite a few folks here in Indianapolis to dig into this opportunity for ourselves and our clients. We owe much more than the cost of the books!
Special thanks to Pat Coyle for his generosity in organizing our first get-together as well as Myra for hosting our club and providing a wonderful lunch!
PS: Also thanks to my daughter, we were late to class registration. And thanks to my employer, who cut me some slack for the afternoon!