Postings from the Edge

Global PR, new PR, social media and printing ink

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Are you a Poet or a Plumber?

Just back from the launch of Poets and Plumbers in Vanløse Bio in Copenhagen where 250 people met up to hear about a new initiative to get the classic and on-line marketing world to understand each other and work closer together. (Disclosure: one of my business partners is one of the founders).

Bringing together the Poets (brands, storytelling, visuals) with the Plumbers (data, processes and ROI) in an online/real world connected way is a great idea.

The presentations and ideas were excellent nearly all round. Two things stood out for me though: that the emphasis is on Poets becoming more Plumber-like and that there wasn't enough emphasis on listening to consumers.

To take the first. For a few years, I've been a member of 26, a group of business writers who have the goal of bringing more creativity into the workplace. That has shown me that even Plumbers can be Poets - I'd like to see more people recognise and work with that. We need to narrow the understanding gap from both sides.

Secondly, there was too much mention of terms such as "online mass media" and "online channels". Despite the fact that many presenters talked about engagement and involvement, not one of them mentioned ways of how to listen. Too much of the talk from Plumbers was about getting people to the shop - instead of getting the shop to the people.

In the context of the general high quality of the event these are minor points perhaps. But when Poets and Plumbers  come together they need to really grasp the idea that the internet is a collection of linked human beings not "demographics" or "users".

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