So I'm reading a book about social media. Which .... I'll admit ... feels a little like going on the internet to see if it's raining outside.
It's not a bad book. Not at all, actually. It's quite interesting and probably valuable with loads of case studies about how some companies really gacked it up by not responding to an angry Twitterer, and how others took advantage of similar situations by thinking and acting fast.
It's not exactly rocket science for any company that's come of age in the last decade, but for others who spend day after day in marathon "strategy meetings," it'll make a great stocking stuffer.
But whether you've read it or not ... just assume for a minute that real-time communications is something that everybody will get on board with, real soon. From Fortune 100 behemoths to the crusty flip-flop startup in the van down by the river, everybody will be kung fu fighting in real time. The media cycle will be real time. The PR cycle will be real time. And a globe-full of information consumers will be constantly and immediately satiated by the information producers ... sort of like the bottomless baked potato taco bar in heaven.
At that point, which probably isn't that far away, there will be a clear difference between company A and company B. And that difference will be pretty damn easy to spot.
It won't be about speed at that point, because everybody will have that tool in their box. It won't be about size at that point either, because real-time marketing and PR will have brought the entire corporate communications structure down to the flat earth.
Instead, the difference will be in storytelling.
The book talks a lot about how a real-time culture is more important than the real-time tools. I totally agree . But a more important concept for 2011 (and beyond) is nurturing an environment that encourages storytelling .... enabling designers to think about the brand story when they're creating a new widget, encouraging customer service agents to learn and appreciate the company's history, and building communication teams that enjoy spinning the yarns more than just wearing technical fabrics.
LINK: Real-Time Marketing & PR