Don't send out a press release to say you landed on the moon
Over the past three years at Learning and Teaching Scotland I've seen significant change in the way things have been done, largely thanks to the humble blog and the voices behind them. By pressing the need for authenticity in what's said, rather than some glossy, postcard format marcoms message ruling us all, we've seen the beginnings of a healthy little blogosphere in LTS Towers, both externally and, in true iceberg fashion, internally, under the glossy surface.
There are undoubtedly non-believers in all this authentic-voice-stuff that still remain (we're a Government body, this project is too big to allow the simple message we've created to leave people's minds, we need to make sure people use the correct acronym [is it CfE, aCfE or ACE?]) but, by and large, especially since this summer's Inspiration Sessions and Mike Coulter's work in-house, there is an ever increasing chance that if you want to find out more about the people behind the policy, the implementation, the ideas or the websites, that they have a blog. You can converse with - no offence intended - the horse's mouth. From professional development experts to web services, the magazine to the gaming guys, the geeks to the boss, it's covered. If you want to see behind the scenes at the Scottish Learning Festival, be our guest, and see the stand designs, the podcast preps and even take a look at how well (and not so well) the Festival is doing. LTS is well on its way to finding and sharing its voice.
And here's the crunch. People I know will object to this blog post, as they have objected to so many others. It makes them uncomfortable. They wonder if I'm talking about them in the para above. Or am I? Good. It's vital that the politic that got me a job with the education agency remains, for a month or two more at least, in people's heads: all anyone wants from a non-governmental body, a government, an organisation, a company is complete and utter authenticity. No compromises. No jargon. No marcoms crap that gets in the way of what really matters: "what are you doing to help me, and how can I help you?"
If you're still left thinking this is rubbish, and that traditional 20th Century corporate communications have a place in this connected world, then go read Seth Godin's superb rundown of NASA's best ever spokesperson, and then think about what watchlists need to be created, press releases junked and bloggers befriended. Happy blogging, folks.
Pic: Neil Armstrong