The power of the public
A revolution has taken place in corporate communications in recent years. Democracy has arrived. The ongoing expansion of the web - and above all social media - means the public have the power to shape the image and reputation of businesses in giant public conversations. On social media platforms, blogs, consumer websites, web forums and comment threads, ordinary people are taking the lead in defining how businesses are seen by the outside world.
The entire corporate communications model has been turned on its head. Since its inception as a recognised industry in the 1920s, corporate communications has relied on major advertising and marketing campaigns, as well as traditional media relations and public affairs, to create the desired images of businesses. In short, corporate communications was conducted by elites, amongst elites, at arms length from consumers. Now this approach lies redundant.
The challenges posed by the new power of the public mean corporate communications increasingly resembles political campaigning. In this world, as in politics, businesses must put the public first. They must engage the public in fast-moving, emotional, two-way conversations. Businesses have to be the most influential and credible voice amongst many; they must become experts in public persuasion.
Communications consultant James Frayne explains what businesses can learn from political campaigns to help them deal with these new challenges. Drawing on interviews with respected political consultants and case studies of successful campaigns, Frayne reveals how the best campaigns engage public audiences and shape their views, and shows how businesses can implement these techniques and strategies in their corporate communications.
'Meet the People' is required reading for modern businesses that want to know how to lead the public conversation that surrounds them.