Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

According to PR Week...

Burson-Marsteller (my alma mater) conducted a survey in February and March, and found that 74 Fortune 500 companies maintain blogs. Statistically, that would equate to 14.8 percent. Not surprisingly, they were mostly tech companies like IBM, Dell, Motorola, Intel, Amazon and Google. 

Erin Byrne, Burson chief digital strategist concludes: "What the results across the board show is that blogging has become a core part of any communications program."

Huh? I read that three times to make sure I didn't miss something.

There is no doubt that most organizations are relatively slow to adopt and adapt to new technologies.  It may be hard to believe, but in 1986, when I left Burson-Marsteller (the world's largest public relations firm) to start Sweeney (the world's newest public relations firm), B-M offices did not have desktop computers.  We had word processors (DecMates, I believe) and electronic typewriters, but not computers.  Eventually the company adopted and adapted.

And my guess is that same holds true for blogging.  Eventually most companies will adopt and adapt. 

And so it is not a huge surprise that 85.2 percent of Fortune 500 companies DO NOT maintain blogs.  However, Byrne has an alternate view: “When I thought about it, I thought that the number [74] would have been higher, and I think the reason…why it still isn't higher is that companies are still grappling with how they participate in the conversation when they don't have control over the message.”

Double Huh?

What are we talking about?  First of all, in any conversation, you only control your end of the conversation... you only control your messages.  Doesn't matter if you are in person, on the phone, writing letters, sending email or blogging, talking on-to-one or talking within a group. You can only control yourself and the message you send.  And second, a conversation is by definition an exchange of ideas and opinions, which generally speaking may or may not be in agreement.

So in a conversation, you just tell the truth (your message) and let the other person or people tell their truth (their message) and you go from there (carry on the conversation).  It's just blogging; there's really nothing to grapple with.

Anyway, control is an illusion.  Or as Mario Andretti put it: “If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.”

No comments:

Post a Comment