AMA enters the blog jungle | Blogads

AMA enters the blog jungle

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, December 14th, 2004

The American Marketing Association is doing a series of one day events about blogging. Putting together a blogging event in this fast and fierce environment is tough, and I have great admiration for organizer Toby Bloomberg’s enthusiasm and determination. AMA will be doing events in Seattle, New York and Chicago, and I’m excited to participate in the Chicago event.

In dealing with various ad agencies, I constantly butt heads with the differences between traditional marketing Weltanschauung and blog marketing. (Interesting to note that the advertisers themselves are often less conservative.)

Now there’s a classic “blogs and marketing” case study brewing around next week’s AMA “intro to blogs” event in Seattle.

First, read the event’s agenda. The goal is to answer the question: “are blogs a credible marketing strategy for your brand or company?”

Then read here what a blogger, TDavid, wrote about the event on his blog. In short: “The overview doesn’t seem to know/hold the answer… And who do they have that’s speaking to answer this question?” He offers a speaker by speaker (and blog by blog) deconstruction of the event.

What’s my humble blog marketing advice for AMA blog event? While it is probably too late to do more than change the wording of the Seattle agenda, there’s still time to make substantive changes to the New York and Chicago agendas. Here’s a game plan:

a) Chant some Cluetrain: markets are conversations… and what you hear ain’t always pretty. Better to learn from criticism than ignore it or dismiss it. Greatness isn’t conceived, it’s iterated.

b) TDavid seems to be chiefly concerned by lack of substance. Are there any real-life case studies panelists are bringing along that can be listed? If participants don’t have first-hand experience, then they could make some calls and bring along some second-hand information. A great writing rule applies: “show, don’t tell.”

c) Respond in the comments section of TDavid’s blog. He’s done a very honest critique and is begging: “Please anybody who can counterpoint me on this, use the comments section and do so.” Commit to improving, welcome your further constructive AND concrete suggestions about ways to improve event. Who would HE like to hear speak?

d) Pack more information into the event: many blog events these days have LOTS of people on stage and ruthless moderation. Add more speakers. Get a debate going among panelists.

e) Commit to using the audience as a resource. Dave Winer has done a great job of turning into a blogospher-like roundtable rather than a one-to-many broadcast.

f) After tweaking upcoming events, respond again to TDavid’s post again in his comments section. Let other bloggers know about his critique and AMA’s responsiveness. My bet is plenty of bloggers would be interested and the press might pick up the event. Picture your desired headline outcome: “AMA takes own blog medicine, thrills participants.”

g) Comp TDavid a ticket to the event — he’s given a lot of great free advice and would make a great participant.

Damn, I just reread the Cluetrain 95 theses. It’s all in there. And still today, only a few advertisers have any sense the world is changing.

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