Thursday, February 17, 2005

Conclusive evidence that my peak memory years have passed.

I gave a presentation at the Kalamazoo Chamber of Commerce today (wait, it's 12:10 in the morning, so it was yesterday) on using the web to build your business and your career. A good chunk of my presentation was focused on the value of blogs and the potential of podcasts.

Speaking to people after the presentation, I realized that by mostly ignoring my notes I had left out out two things I wanted to cover.

First, do blogs replace newsletters, especially e-newsletters? Right now, my answer is no. If you're doing a newsletter, you should probably keep doing it. But expect your blog to eventually replace it. And I think it will be a better tool immediately. Spam filters and people with multiple email addresses are killing the e-newsletter. Here are thoughts from some people who probably have more credibility on this issue than I do. This article also points out just how much work I have to do to make my own blog as powerful and effective as it should be.

Second, at the start of my presentation, I said I wanted to learn five new things myself. Then I never took the time to give my audience a forum that would have allowed this to happen. I did leave time for questions, but towards the end I was rushing to make the presentation fit into its alloted hour. Maybe people who were at today's session can post comments and help me with those five new things I wanted to learn.

Thanks to everyone who attended and to the Chamber and Pat Guenther for the invitation. Hopefully, you enjoyed listening as much as I enjoyed talking.

— Dean Gemmell

6 Comments:

Blogger frannie_y said...

a response to your post. I've seen the trend of blogging in many business fields, especially the communications industry. I work in a PR firm and we've just launched a corporate blog. I think our CEO was trying to follow up with other big name companies so he's forced to get one. I agree with you on the importance of blogging but I just sort of wonder if this will put us in a passive position as only thouse who are most interested will come to read our blogs. Anyway nice content, i've enjoyed it.

9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comment. You're right about reaching only those "most interested." The new paradigm will demand content that people seek out -- they'll refuse to suffer through dull, clumsy sales pitches and marketing-speak because they won't have to.

Still not sure how the new model will work for everyone, but I do think the people who win will be the people with the best content.

Hope you keep coming back to the content on this blog.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Black Lab Five said...

Oops. Meant to publish that last comment with me as the author. Sent it as anonymous by mistake.

Dean Gemmell

3:51 PM  
Blogger Gerah said...

First of all, no more feeling bad cause you didn't get to everything you wanted to during your talk at the Chamber. I attended and thought it was a fabulous presentation... plus, WE all came to suck up YOUR knowledge, not display ours. If we were the smarty pantses with all the great ideas, we'd be giving the presentation, not you.

Now, on the blog vs. newsletter topic: Blogs are fantastic, but, folks have to actively be seeking out your blog and take the time to find it and read it often for it to work effectively, whereas newsletters (electronic or printed) are delivered directly into one's mailbox or inbox without the recipient having to think about them. Even if a person didn't necessarily care if they were getting a newsletter, they may be pleasantly surprised when they get one, and enjoy reading it, maybe even look forward to the next one.

One more thing. One week ago I may have screamed from the rooftops for everyone to ditch their printed newsletters and go electronic and high tech, but, my own company just mailed out our quarterly printed newsletter and I have had some pleasant surprises from it... The cover of the newsletter featured an article I wrote about the new marketing services our company is now providing, and the fact that I have been hired to execute them. Since last week when the newsletter was mailed, my phone has been ringing off the hook with area business looking for my marketing help. I've even had a couple of businesses that didn't get the newsletter get one from a friend and call and request to be on our mailing list in the future. I never would have dreamed that this newsletter would have accomplished this. It makes me think that there is still something about having a printed piece to hold on to and flip through that can't be replaced by a blog or an email.

Just something to think about.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Black Lab Five said...

I think you're absolutely right about newsletters. Getting something physical is why I keep getting The New Yorker delivered to my home instead of finding a way to read it online. If you have a newsletter that works, don't stop doing it. But a blog is a great way to add more value and relevancy to your communications.

9:30 PM  
Blogger sammo said...

I too work in advertising/marketing and blogging is new to me. I really wanted to attend your presentation but was unable due to time constraints.

I've been reading your blogs since nearly the beginning. I always seem to find something useful in your posts. Your common sense really cuts through the clutter.

Anyway, I've put off commenting, hoping that maybe in time you'd eventually address one nagging blogging/marketing question I have. I decided not to wait.

Here goes:
Should the content of your blog always reinforce your brand?

By that I mean, if you manufacturer dog food shouldn't your blogs be closely related to the different facets of dog food. ie. nutrition, pet health etc?

To me that just seems like common sense. I'm not going to check out a dog food blog for financial information or mountain biking tips.

Conversely I've heard clients expressing they want to include blogs completely unrelated to their product in an attempts to market through the back door. The only relation to their brand would be a logo in the corner of their blog somewhere.

Granted, I don't understand why people would want to get their movies from Netflix and music by subscription to Napster.

These are my knee jerk reactions to paradigm shifts. But these trends are flying in the face of my common sense. So am I missing something?

I'd love to know your thoughts on the subject. (perhaps in a future blog).

Forgive me if you discussed this during your presentation. If so, I hope to catch your next presentation.

5:27 PM  

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