If You Can't Beat Them, Be Them?

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by: David Armano

I did the above visual not long after I first started blogging. While I illustrated a specific type of scenario (think Dell Hell or Comcast sleeper etc.), my point were that traditional and non-traditional media co-existed and had to be factored into how a company deals with the public.

More and more, I’m wondering if it’s possible for organizations to act like the individuals who are often times beating them at there own game. If people like Robert Scoble are beginning to feel like a one-man media machine (never mind social media—he’s transcended that), then is it possible for the reverse? Can companies emulate what individuals are doing and gain credibility for it?

Just hours ago, there was a huge explosion in Toronto which to no surprise began getting documented by everyday people using tools such as YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, etc. while the mainstream media outlets have to react a little slower to ensure that A. the story is newsworthy, and B. the story is factual. These things ensure the credibility of an organization, especially in the media business.

But everyday people are now providing indisputable value when they document events like this. We’re more forgiving of the inaccuracies if there was something of value in what the individual provided, whether it be media, a perspective or thought. It’s the credibility of the individual that is at stake if we end up being misled and it actually helps traditional media as we look to it to validate.

So breaking news aside, can organizations be as fast, nimble and responsive as an individual? Can the people who work within an organization emulate the behavior of people who are naturally inclined to produce content and document events. Should organizations/brands/companies even try?

What do you think? Who’s doing this right and who’s doing it wrong?

Origjnal Post: http://darmano.typepad.com/logic_emotion/2008/08/if-you-cant-bea.html