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Pushing or Facilitating?

Brands still broadcasting with new media

I came across this concurrent articulation on how brands today use new Web channels and the existence of "broadcasting" still at play in their strategy. The post is written by David Armano and I love the way he's expressed his opinion on this topic and alternatively the outlook of brands "facilitating" dialogue of the public. I know I've recently been talking around this idea of brands opening up more to social media, but I can't help to feel this is an imperative subject to continue addressing.

David dishes us a slice of reality when he says; "In this dynamic world of 'social media' that we're all gushing over, it's healthy to remind ourselves that most brands are still acting as 'broadcasters'—dishing out content, information, products and services to people." He's spot on when he comments on this because although we're seeing more YouTube Channels and the likes, it's still a one-way communication track with the brand controlling everything and "pushing" the messages to the masses.

Alternatively, facilitating the discussion and growth of your brand is something few companies are really doing in full stride (at least that I'm aware of.) There are some great examples out there presently like MyStarbucksIdea and Scotts tapping into this tactic and doing some awesome things with it. It's clear Armano finds the future of identifying these tactics to be exciting and I couldn't agree more. David puts it nicely when he says; "Brands now have the opportunity to empower influential voices who reach others. They have the opportunity to leverage the 'brand ambassadors' who are likely already out there. And in the possible scenario that there aren't any—a brand can still become visible in the online conversations that are likely happening about it or topics relevant in it." I especially think the biggest challenge with this will reside in the medical and pharma world where regulations are extremely sensitive and continue to be a cap on social media endevours.

Every brand (in some shape or form) "pushes" to the masses. However, the point David is making and that honestly reigns true is; broadcasting will continue to go on for quite awhile. Is it the fact that old habits die hard? Will corporations ever want to completely put their brand and their livelihood in the public's hands? Who knows for sure. Should broadcasting and facilitation ever exclusively exist? I'm weary to say that they should. I think that any great brand must build the topics for talking through broadcast of their personality (whatever channel that may be online), then allow for conversation to propel growth and steer the future properly and in-line with what people feel, say, AND do.

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