Moment of Truth Time: Choosing the Right Messenger

What will it take for individuals, for businesses, even governments to understand survival? Why can’t we recognize being a visionary is not about discovering something new always? Being a visionary is often about being the first to be reminded of logic, reality, truth – and then evangelizing it to other people. The future cannot be, without the building blocks of the past. Here’s some great advice for businesses looking at a digital voice. First though, understand fully our current innovative progress is nothing new. We only need those who make us see.

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford
Brian Solis at a recent PRSA event in Philly

Brian Solis at a recent PRSA event in Philly

The other day my partner wrote a light hearted post about some influential men, visionaries if you will, of this digital age of society. By and large it was received well, and as intended, by the readership and fans of those very smart influencers. Still, the comments on that post reflected the negativity and ignorance that holds up progress for all of us. One comment pointedly struck me, the assertion my old friend Brian Solis somehow baffles people with hyperbole (bullshit so the author suggested) into believing in his strategies and theories. This inaccuracy of this is a huge problem for any of us who communicate, let me explain why.

The perception that public relations people are simply purveyors of press releases and bullshit artists is so far from the truth as to be criminally idiotic. The problem businesses have had with understanding communications professionals of any kind comes from ignorance of how to communicate as a business, or there would be no need to interact with PRs or marketers. Let’s establish this first of all. Bad business begins with bad understanding and communication, make no mistake. Now let me present some good evidence for my case, but first some mind angel dust from a huge success in the digital age:

“It’s hard to find things that won’t sell online.” – Jeff Bezos, founder, Amazon

The video below is one Brian Solis (sorry he’s a good subject) created to promote his most recent book, “What’s the Future of Business.” Please watch it, then read on.

Now here’s the crux of this matter of credible authorship, advice, and business strategy. I found this video once again on Facebook, a brief discussion ensuing there over its merits, cheesiness, etc. However cliche or showman like you may find the dramatization though, Solis’ commercial is based on rock solid fact.

Kodak moments, magazines, newspapers, records have in fact passed by the wayside mostly. From my own perspective as an evangelist of digital commerce, the world has evolved much faster than business have been able to cope. Walmart is already sliding down the slope to extinction, Apple may indeed sell their last iPod soon, the “survivors” of the next 100 years are responding to my messages and yours, even now. As for the victims of nonrecognition and slow adaptation?

Every day I wrestle to dislodge from the grip of bad communicative business, hoteliers or hospitality businesses that simply cannot grasp the inevitable. Every single day our executives are desperately trying to get this message across, adapt or die. You might say this is a matter of business course, and it is. For those among you willing to listen though, business is not just about numbers any more, it’s about the literal “you and me” of the human equation. This video is a lead in, into a book I read and reread all the time. Like the video’s truths of leadership and inevitability, the book #WTF once opened, reveals an age of unparalleled possibility, and an inevitable certainty too. Ponder another bit of stardust for your business adaptation first:

“You can buy attention (advertising). You can beg for attention from the media (PR). You can bug people one at a time to get attention (sales). Or you can earn attention by creating something interesting and valuable and then publishing it online for free.” – David Meerman Scott

David Meerman Scott with Ahmed Sabry in Egypt

David Meerman Scott with Ahmed Sabry in Egypt – just goes to show this “social experiment” is widespread

If you choose to believe your business can avoid the certainty of these competitive methods the “right” evangelist profess, your moment of truth will certainly be impacting. Today I can look at you via Google Earth, Google Street, discover almost anything there is to know about you and your business. Tomorrow your competitor across the street, than ancient foe whose hotel rooms filled up faster than yours, that competitor will wake up and engage this next generation of consumers. When they do, and you do not, just as a Ferarri can out run a horse and buggy, so too your rival will pass you by.

Hey business owner out there! Your problem is not whether or not to adopt the strategies people like Brian Solis offer you, it’s differentiating in between good and bad messages. If you cannot see clearly the difference between plain logic and hyperbole, then ask someone to help you. Better yet, read Brian’s or somebody like Chris Brogan who’s “three words” this year are Lifestyle, Monchu, and Black. (I never said I’d make it that easy) Once you pick up Brian’s book, I suggest you read the book 20 times if need be, then beat your competition into the next phase of human business. Solis and many other analysts do their homework, I suggest you do too.

If you don’t things are set in motion to see you either succeed or fail, it’s up to you to make these decisions. Telling the difference between sound advice and the untenable is as easy as remembering and comparing. Brian Solis is only reminding us.

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