Originally published on the Buzz Bin, August 13, 2007.
In the next ten days the online portion of the Now Is Gone marketing campaign will begin. This includes launching a new blog (under construction) and “revealing” which bloggers were cited as sources. After chatting with e-business journalist and PR marathoner Nettie Hartsock on the phone and via email, it seemed appropriate to reveal my strategy before the actual launch.
This maybe an “unmarketing” concept, but the mission of the book seems paramount. Now is Gone was written to provide corporate executives and entrepreneurs a basic primer to begin engaging in new media. And engage in a meaningful fashion by building value for their communities while avoiding blogodramas.
The book is not meant to be a myopic, worldly piece on social media conversations or a gigantic wiki. It does not contain great long essays of Livingston social media theory, or vignets on SEO and blogging tactics. It’s simply a short 100+ page book designed to help businesses begin in the new media world with basic principles and strategy. Nothing more.
And thus the book’s marketing strategy revolves around them, not us. However, bloggers are most interested in the ethics of citing them in the book’s marketing. So we’ll discuss that first beginning with my contributing author (a blogger), then reaching out to businesses.
Brian Solis earned a contributing author credit for his outstanding input on Now Is Gone. Not only did Brian write a stellar and substantial introduction on the challenges facing the public relations profession, but his passion shines through on how to help get businesses engaged in the new world of marketing and PR. Solis also consulted on the book’s theme, topics and development.
In particular, he steered me towards critical thought posts (Chris Heuer’s participation is marketing post and Jay Rosen’s paper on the shift from targeting audiences to people, specifically) and reviewed my initial content, highlighting the need to eliminate controlled messaging from our online conversations. These core areas shaped the central theme of Now Is Gone.
Brian will likely help promote the book, and will have publishing access to the Now Is Gone blog. As an excellent promoter, having Brian do anything is a boon. Thank you, Brian, for everything.
Bloggers as Sources
More than 60 bloggers were cited in the book, and I will launch the book blog by both listing them permanently as sources, and by a listing here. My intent is simply to honor them and provide business readers additional source material. Several bloggers contributed to a list of related books, which will also be provided to Now Is Gone book and blog readers for further research.
This was not a collaborative process. The book was researched at night and written in a journalistic tone. Relevant blog posts were cited as they pertained to the topic of the moment. Some bloggers may feel they were cited in a tangential way and have more to offer. The night they were cited (one of many evenings last Spring) it may have been tangential, but their material seemed most relevant at that moment.
Further, there was no extra effort to include every marketing blogger on earth. This was not a “catch-all of the Todd-And 150 link-to-me” strategy. The book was written in a very linear fashion.
The 60+ bloggers have already been communicated with, and we asked them if they’d like a free copy of the book. Many (but not all) said yes. Again, I am honored to have cited them. Hopefully they will find the book to be valuable for businesses and recommend it. And yes, if they write up Now Is Gone, I’ll be happy. But there are no expectations. They deserve a book as sources. That’s it.
That being said, several bloggers emerged as incredible resources. They provided me materials, and interviewed with me on the phone and via email. Thank you Scott Baradell, Toby Bloomberg, C.C. Chapman, Todd Defren, Shel Holtz, Kami Huyse, Marshall Kirkpatrick, Brian Lusk, Ike Pigott and Jeff Pulver for going that extra mile. Without you the book would not be the same.
The Heart of the Matter: Speaking & PR
Getting in front of businesses to help them engage in social media requires an acknowledgement that they aren’t out here. The best way to get in front of non-blogging audiences is through speaking engagements, print media and traditional online properties. So that’s what we aim to do.
I’ve set a goal of ten free speaking/moderating engagements this fall and spring. It may sound lofty, but there are already nine engagements set for the fall:
- Women In Technology (DC), September 5
- Ready, Set, Grow presented by Smart Business Ideas (DC), September 25
- BLOG Orlando, September 28
- Chairing the Era of Conversation conference, DMA of Washington, week of Oct. 1
- Consumer Electronics Association Industry Forum (San Diego), Oct. 16
- Greater Washington Board of Trade, corporate blogging event, Oct.
- Success in the City, Now Is Gone Party (DC), Oct.
- The New, New Internet (DC), November 1
- PubCon Vegas 2007, Dec. 4, 5 or 6
So there’s one fall spot left… Any more would disrupt the business (oh yeah, my clients!), and to do that will require a fee. That seems reasonable.
As a PR firm, we’re going to dedicate about 20 hours a month of Michele Capots’ time to the traditional print media. I will pursue web media. The rest is doing, not talking. Wish us luck.
What’s In It for Livingston
Book publishing is not a lucrative business. In all, after Brian’s contributing author share, I can expect less than $1 per copy. A successful effort will cross the 10,000 book mark.
Consider that more than 200 hours were spent writing… before marketing began this past July. Our blended rate is $150 an hour, and mine is $225 an hour. The math demonstrates a major loss.
Hopefully, by doing the right thing we’ll make a difference and actually get companies on board as meaningful community members. In addition, the company will likely develop a good reputation. And perhaps some Fortune 500 companies will let us help them engage in social media the right way. That would be great.
In the interim, the big monetary reward will be this excellent Tag Heuer Monaco watch, originally worn by Steve McQueen. Publishing a book has been a life long dream. I deserve the self-gift. Woo hoo!