Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Learning from Dancing with the Stars and Mark Cuban

Today, Kara Swisher in her All Things D column complimented Mark Cuban for being thought provoking about the Internet being Dead and Boring. As always, Cuban, with his aggressive personality and potential "Dancing with the Stars" gig can teach a lot of communicators a thing or two. Ok. He can be abrasive and loud. But he's also provocative. He takes what most people think and turns it on its ear.

Aside from being interesting, this is also a very effective way to be heard. People don't want to talk about what they already know and think. They like to talk about, debate, rant about, new ideas. And, by the way, that's true about most markets.

Of course, not everyone has something provocative to say that will be thought-provoking to the mass audience (nor do they have access to the world media). But, even so, if a company is communicating with a specialized (or vertical) market, it can take advantage of this technique. Particularly if it is setting out to be a leader: Why not raise questions and challenge conventional wisdom? Get people to think differently.

Yes. I know there are some arguments against this approach: for conservative markets will you alienate your constituencies; or do you have the potential of sounding like a know-it-all; etc. Of course you have to use discretion when using this approach. It's always critical to understand your markets and leverage that understanding. But, there's always a way to accomplish your goals if you think about them clearly within the right context.

Look where it's gotten Mark Cuban!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You make some good points...but still? I am being constantly surprised at the lack of whatever it is that makes you show just a modicum of humility.
best~GL HOFFMAN, Minneapolis

8:18 AM  
Blogger Abigail Johnson said...

You also make a good point. I don't mean to advocate lack of humility (perhaps I will cover this in a future post). But I do want people, as they are communicating, to move beyond "safe".


8:28 AM  

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