Why do I call this interview exclusive? Well, to sit down an Sunday for a couple of hours with one of the best and smartest people in the Word-of-Mouth Marketing field in the world, does feel exclusive. Emanuel Rosen is the author of The Anatomy of Buzz Revisited: Real-life lessons in Word-of-Mouth Marketing. His here in Sweden for the book tour.
Emanuel is an down to earth person and does not give the online world to much importance. For instance, when I get a bit to exited about the digital world, he stops me and says: Stefan, look around you what do you see? Do you see anything digital? I do look around in the hotel lobby and realize his point. He continues, we talk about the online world but still we live in the offline word, which has enormous impact in our day to day life. In the future will the online world become bigger (new technology will be everywhere). But still today the physical world we have around us are much bigger and importance for how we build buzz. As he elegant pointed it out: “The big question is how to build in technology into old structures.” His ending it with the physical world is strong but the digital connection is extremely important for creating buzz.
After this we start talking about why people talk about things. It gives them status in the tribes they are living in. When I ask why some are buzzing more than others, Emanuel pointed out that some are hubs (I call them radios), hubs send their message to a many people around them. There is two kinds of hubs: Experts- and socialhubs. The experts want higher status by being known for being an expert. The socialhub person see it as an way to connect to others. It is also a way to make us be unique (stand out from the crowd). When everyone knows about something there is now value to buzz about it. It will not make you stand out from the crowd to say what everyone already knows. Like saying that McDonald’s sells hamburgers, everyone knows that. In other words to get hubs buzzing you have to confirm and strengthen their identity. Their currency is information and if they are believed, people will listen to them, but if they are loosing their credibility by being speaking in favor for a corporation people will turn away from them. A word he uses often is relevant. Every-part of the story, corporation, hubs etc must be relevant for everyone ore else it will be irrelevant to talk about. In my inter-pretending find a radio channel that both the sender and receiver are willing to listen to. There is an limit into what we believe but if we believe it will give us social values talking about it then we are wiling to buzz about it.
This is also the reason for why open innovation is so successful, people believe in products, services and brands they are a port of. The creativity dimension is on of the strongest ways of building buzz. If consumers are being involved in the creating of a solution they will be enormous engage in it and then more willing to spread the word. But Emanuel is also highlighting the risk in listening to much in the most engage consumers, they do often want extreme performance. I do ask him if he means that they like to have sport cars? Yes, more ore less you could say that and the normal family person how is buying your cars often needs a family car.
Here is some of Emanuel Rosen best points:
Involvement is key to build buzz.
Anytime you led your costumers to develop anything, they will spread it!
Creativity is a mayor driver of buzz.
Buzz still has to do with geography.
How buzz worthy something is… (he explain when Apple and 3M was introducing their new product it had an WOW factor worth talking about).
We did have an long discussion if ore not our need to connect is based on our survival instinct. I was bringing the question up and he did agree in some parts but I know I was fare out and a lot into human psychology in that question. But Emanuel is humble and tap into the point and agreed on that could be the fact in some levels.
I suggest in the end of the interview that he should write an new book: How to build internal Buzz: Drive corporate passion with word of mouth. We do talk about that fore a while but I could not persuade him to write the book (yet). I would love to read it and I think that part of buzz is missing in a lot in big corporations, they talk about building brands but internal does not any brand exist. Which is an bad idea on a transparent marketer, when the employes can go home an spread buzz online and offline about “the real facts of their product and services.”
It was really great to talk with an words-class thinker and developer of word of mouth. I do hope that reality is faster in catching on what Emanuel Rosen are saying so next time we meet people can both talk and walk hand in hand with corporations.
The day after we meet he did hold an lecturer in Stockholm and today his holding an lecture in Istanbul, I do recommend you to check out his book tour so you don’t miss his inspiring lectures.
Some Microsoft marketing genius came up with the brilliant idea to make an viral YouTube video to promote a series of Windows 7 with launch parties. For hardcore fans this idea is probably as good idea as hire a ‘prostitute’ when proposing to your wife. Well, I still think it is a big recognition for consumers when mighty Microsoft is finally giving them some attention. Next step will be to get the fans attention without paying for ‘amore’.
Here is a new full page about my latest book in a well respected magazine in Mexico Merca2.0. Download it here as a PDF (translation). In Mexico the PR industry is positive to the content of my new book but in Sweden there is a divided debate going on which is growing bigger each day. Here is one of the latest debate articles: Dagensmedia.se: ”Vad är pr, Stefan Engeseth?” (translation). I do understand that my book title is a little proactive for the PR industry: ”The Fall of PR and the Rise of Advertising.”
But Swedes are extremely innovative so I think this hot debate will lead us into a lot of positive changes (some of those who earn big money today might be in panic, but that is normal when change arrives). Future is however based on tomorrow and not history! In other words marketing and the business models of today is turning upside down.
Last week was the Swedish book launch of my latest book ”The Fall of PR and the Rise of Advertising.” The launch was overcrowded but 200 leading professionals from the PR and advertising community in Sweden attended.
The discussions were hot because of the theme of the book, but also due to a strong media attention before the launch (two examples 1 & 2). One key question was whether the PR industry understands social media. In my opinion, PR in general doesn’t do so but there are always exceptions (read specialists). In an interview for Resume.se I mentioned that PR does not understand the digital culture we live in today (translation). Opening speaker: CEO Jan Fager, The Swedish Marketing Federation. Moderator: CEO Pär Lager, Berghs School of Communication. The panel of the day was impressive: Peppe Engberg. Merci Olsson, Marketing and Communications Manager, Nobelprize.org. Carl Wåreus, OMD. Ingrid Lindström, CEO, McBride. Andreas Dahlin, affärsutvecklingskonsult. Kristofer Björkman, Newsdesk. Stefan Hyttfors, Wenderfalck. Catharina Jevrell, CEO, Re:Public Relations. Robert Almqvist, Senior Advisor, Hill & Knowlton. Rolf van den Brink, Bloggare. Patrik Persson, Partner / Business Director, Great Works. Hans Sydow, CEO, Saatchi & Saatchi.
My goal for the day was to start discussions and a debate in the communication community in how we work and how we can adopt and change with our time. A special thanks to Jan Fager and Pär Lager for arranging and hosting this book launch. And thanks to the magic panel for sharing their passion and knowledge.
I wrote a debate article ”PR industry – a sacred cow?” for the Swedish magazine Dagens Media: ”Pr-branschen – en helig ko?.” That article started a strong debate in the whole communication industry of Sweden. Since I like it to spread the word outside of our Swedish “cow field,” here is a Google translation of the article.
“PR industry – a sacred cow?”
Stefan Engeseth addressed in his latest book severely criticized the public relations industry – but unlike the rest of the world meets the book of silence in Sweden. ”Scales no claim that the so-successful public relations industry may lose ground to a growing advertising industry?” He writes.
All the monkeys in the media, according to Calle Schulman in a debate-article in Dagens Media. The issue is not about public relations industry is full of holy sacred cow? Nobody seems to question the public relations industry, just as India’s sacred cows. An industry that make their living by selling poodles deserve well a colic of aphorism?
2002, Al Ries succébok ”The Fall of Advertising & the Rise of PR”, which shook the advertising world in the past. Recently at Cannes Lions I released my latest book ”The Fall of PR and the rise of advertising”, which deals with public relations industry’s development, and perhaps it’s fall?
The first person that came up to me was an CEO of Burson-Marsteller in India, who said he had read the book. He had not had a wink of sleep at night because he was so upset. I expect a name-calling, but instead to scold me, he thanked me for raising questions about public relations industry’s development. The book’s theme was, therefore, no sacred cow in India. Internationally there has been a great deal about the book, but almost none in Sweden. I wonder why? No one dares to say that the most successful public relations industry may lose ground to a growing advertising industry? Journalists have told me that they feel they are kidnapped by the public relations industry. If they do not write the right things so they may not have the information they need to do their job. Profitability of marketing public relations is good, but something goes wrong so it will be even more profitable to sell the ”crisis poodles” to panic-stricken clients. The profitability of hunting public relations agencies have sold their press clippings per kilogram. With increased competition becomes PR even more visible. Research shows that young people today are so accustomed to the media like a lie detector to determine which articles are generated by public relations or not.
Successful public relations is often difficult to demonstrate the practical value of the venture, making it difficult for the buyer valued. PR agencies have generally so low knowledge in branding and strategy that value of their work often stops at the price per kilo of press cuttings.
Before, the media were the “the third party” that told the truth.Today, 100 million bloggers stop the public relations lies in a few hours. PR industry can not even spell Internet and its knowledge of social media will only work successful if the old media was based on a controlled monologue.
What neither Murdoch, Stampen or Bonniers or understands, is that ”content still is king.” Bonnier’s new Communications Director Mårten Lyth ask in Dagens Media: ”Who will pay for quality?” The short answer to that question is the advertisers. But advertisers are becoming their own media channels. In the same issue of the magazine interviewed several major advertisers on how they work with social media. Many are 4-6 years after the reality. Why? Because they can (read affordable). But the media can not afford neither monkeys or poodles.
Around the corner, we see brands as Tommy Hilfiger, Diesel and Audi opened their own television channels. Many, however, offer such a low quality content that it can harm the brand. Ikea could with its millions of fans could be a future media player. If brands are to succeed to deliver good content will depend on whether the current media providers are prestigious enough resolve to offer their skills to those who want to pay for quality.
The goal of my book is not to slaughter the sacred cows. I hope however that it can bring constructive discussions spite the fact that so many are living on milk.