Collaboration and Control

Once upon a time,  communications departments in corporate and university settings, even your average PR person of the old school, were more interested in controlling what the media said, controlling the message that got out there, spinning, shaping and shepherding the story.

That’s pretty much not the way things are anymore.  More and more people are collaborating on this thing we call news. We are taking in our news completely differently now. As was recently written in The Atlantic, Twitter has broken many of us of the habit of checking a single site for news.  News has become unbundled, like everything else. This means that since there is no single source of news to check anymore, you need help if you want people to see your writing, images, blogs and websites. You have to invite people into your media. We need others to share our media in as many channels as possible.

The only way to get that happening is by creating something that’s remarkable enough and interesting enough that people will want to share it on their own, even being moved to do so by just the title itself.  (Or else you can buy their attention with AdWords or Twitter Ads, but that’s something else.)

Spontaneous sharing really pays off.  Your message gets out there by homebrew evangelists.  You want that.  Especially when you’re building, say, a user base. You’re not always going to be able to control that message, but you can invite people to collaborate.