Working with Communities

At the Blog Business Summit (that thing I so desperately wanted to be at) there seems to have been an interesting discussion about PR and the blogosphere.

Worth a read, but here’s a few of the points I wanted to highlight:

  • Rule #1: Tell the truth. Rule #2: Go public.

I’d go so far as to say this is the top 2 rules for any community development person. If you don’t get these two right, nothing else matters.

  • Build a great relationship network before you start blogging

The key here is “build a great relationship”… doesn’t matter what it is you’re talking about. The way companies communicate should be about creating a relationship. Not a CRM database on how many times people have purchased, but face-to-face (even if virtual), handshaking, ask people about their kids sorta relationships.

  •  Don?t ignore the elephant in the room. Talk about the hard topics

More specifically, I’d say “Talk about the topics your community is interested in talking about, not what you feel is important, regardless of how difficult or uncomfortable that is for you.

  •  Foster relationships with connectors?because they?ll tell you about hot issues as they break

Well said. Not just will connectors tell you about issues, they’ll be your advocates in the community, they’ll bring you ideas and feedback, and more.