Check out this free summary of the book, Beyond Buzz: The Next Generation of Word of Mouth Marketing. It’s intriguing.Author Lois Kelly says “buzz marketing” misses the point. What you should be focused on is not creating “buzz” but rather engaging in interesting conversations with your audience. Why?Because people increasingly don’t trust sales and marketing. They are bombarded with information. They want to be heard and have a say.So how do you do have a conversation instead of a marketing message? Listen and make people feel heard. Get beyond typical messages and value propositions and focus on interesting topics of conversation. When people respond, respond back. Make fewer brochures and have more two-way communications. Hire people who like to have those conversations.I fully endorse these ideas. When I have taken the time to ask people their opinions, listened, responded, and continued the conversation, great things happened.Want a good example? Check out Lois’s blog post on Nike’s ad after the Imus debacle.Here is the conversation Nike started in an ad:“Thank you, ignorance.Thank you for starting the conversation.Thank you for making an entire nation listen to the Rutgers’ team story. And for making us wonder what other great stories we’ve missed.Thank you for reminding us to think before we speak.Thank you for showing us how strong and poised 18 and 20-year-old women can be.Thank you for reminding us that another basketball tournament goes on in March.Thank you for showing us that sport includes more than the time spent on the court.Thank you for unintentionally moving women’s sport forward.And thank you for making all of us realize that we still have a long way to go.Next season starts 11.16.07.”I’m ready to go buy Nikes.The conversation approach has worked amazingly well for Six Degrees.Have you had success in conversations or two-way communication with your audiences? I will send my Robin Hood book and post the story of the first two people who respond to this question here on the blog. Please respond, we need to learn from you.
The complaint from the Coalition for Education Equity, a nonprofit, argues that Dunleavy has to follow the law and release the money appropriated by lawmakers, rather than “impound” it. It was filed against Dunleavy and state Education Commissioner Michael Johnson.School districts expected to get the money several months ago, according to Andy DeGraw, chief operating officer at the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. A spokesman for Dunleavy, Matt Shuckerow, said Tuesday that the administration will release the cash only if lawmakers fail to take up a proposal from the governor to cancel the $20 million appropriation. Shuckerow says the administration isn’t commenting on pending litigation.“Rather than disperse the funds that are appropriated by the Legislature and are the law of this land, the governor is sitting on the funds and refusing to disperse them,” said Matthew Singer, an attorney representing CEE.Singer said even though the governor is ultimately leaving the fate of the funds in the hands of the Legislature, he’s setting a bad precedent.“Imagine what would happen in our state if the governor engaged in this sort of practice all the time,” Singer said. “What if the annual budget for the state troopers was appropriated by the Legislature, and then the governor said ‘I don’t wanna spend that money. I’m just going to sit on these funds and see if next year, the Legislature changes its mind and repeals this appropriation.’”The Legislature must finish its annual session by mid-May, according to a 121-day limit set in the Constitution. Governor Mike Dunleavy speaks with a constituent ahead of a presentation at a policy forum in Anchorage. Dunleavy has introduced legislation that would cancel a $20 million appropriation for public schools made by the Legislature last year. (Photo: Zachariah Hughes – Alaska Public Media, Anchorage)An education advocacy group sued Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration Wednesday over his refusal to release $20 million that the Alaska Legislature budgeted for public schools last year.