Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Fair Shares: Nice column from Scott McNealy in today’s FT (sub req'd), extolling the virtues of sharing:

“From time to time, forward thinkers posed the idea that less protection would be more beneficial – that building communities and sharing intellectual resources could create new market places that would create new economic opportunities. This concept has been slow to take off, given the traditional opportunity costs associated with sharing your ideas. For most, it has been easier and more intuitive to go it alone and keep the crown jewels locked up.

“While that model may have worked in the industrial age and flourished in the information age, it will be the kiss of death in the participation age.”

After discussing Sun’s decision to open-source its software, McNealy suggests three principles that should be catnip to proponents of blogging:

“Share: blend internal assets with those outside. That means sharing things you value, such as intellectual property, best practices, employee time and even your thoughts, with tools such as blogs, podcasts and wikis (communal web pages). In doing so you lower barriers to entry and encourage people to notice and take an interest in your business.

“Build trust and foster communities: adopt a transparent and shared approach to business. New business opportunities will arise that you, the trusted player, will be in the best position to take advantage of.

“Engage and collaborate: seize opportunities to listen to and interact with the communities you create. Solicit input and recommendations. Respond to requests. Close the gap among your critical audiences, influencers and decision-makers across your organisation and you will be rewarded.”

To sum it up: companies should start to relate better to their publics. PR people should be leading this revolution. Too many are still standing on the sidelines trying to figure out where it’s going.


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