29 October 2007

It's not about me

I got tagged by two wicked awesome Boston-based PR Bloggahs and 'Sox fans, Susan Getgood and Kyle Flaherty, on this whole media snackers meme that Jeremiah Owyang dreamt up. They're asking if I respect "media snackers," defined by Jeremiah as "folks who consume small bits of information, data or entertainment when, where, and how they want."

I respect snackers for one simple reason: It's not about me.

We already know that people get information from many sources, all in the background. My job is to join or lead discussions with opinion leaders wherever they are, using whatever tools they use, in whatever form works best for them. To do this, I have to provide relevant content. To know what's relevant, I have to build relationships with these opinion leaders. To do that, I have to be respectful and transparent. So I go where they go and use what they use. I learn their language, I ask them questions, and I invest time and energy in what's important to them to the point where it becomes important to me.

Some of the folks I reach out to are snackers. Some aren't. Either way, it's my job to be respectful and relevant, which is different for everyone. The fact that I'm on Twitter means nothing to the top-tier political bloggers or mainstream business writers who speak regularly to the communities of "opinion elites" I care about most in issues management. The fact that I use addthis as a bookmark tool means nothing to the moms who read this blog but prefer to bookmark using Sk*rt, which addthis inexplicably ignores.

I care about content and let the community dictate the format. So my favorite "snacks" are actually those very rare morsels that appeal to more than one online community and offer the opportunity to bridge cultures and build dynamic, diverse, and influential coalitions. So I look for the super-smart enviro-blogger who interviews a US Senate candidate. Or the libertarian mom who examines the housing market and subprime lending. Or the MIT brainiacs who study Red Sox fans:

So what say you, Mark Story, Brad Levinson, and Rachael Herrscher?


Jeremiah Owyang said...

I like this approach, putting your audience needs before your own, great stuff!

KFFBOS said...

This is great...particularly the Sox Video!

mothergoosemouse said...

I love the term - it's a perfect description of how I get my information. I so rarely have the opportunity to sit and read the paper (online or print) or watch an entire news program - the interruptions are constant. Even reading before bed - usually nonfiction - I can only get in a dozen pages or so before I fall asleep.