Hard to control? Try impossible

Hard to control? Try impossible: Doc Searls points to an article in AdAge with the head and sub-head, “Marketers Wrestle with Hard-to-Control Web Content: Blogs and Chat Rooms Pose Risks Despite Coveted Demographics

It’s unfortunate that the phrase “control the message” crept into the lexicon of marketing-speak. Somewhere along the way, marketing “pros” convinced themselves that a message can be controlled — that reporters, analysts and pundits don’t shape it; that readers, viewers and listeners are zombies with no judgement, taste, life experiences, pre-conceptions or the ability to decide for themselves whether a product or service or idea is good.

Recently I had a conversation with someone associated with a company noted for its perceived ability to “control the message.” When I brought up that topic, he scoffed. He said something (channeling Doc Searls, perhaps) to the effect: “The way to control a message is to find the message being talked about by others. All we do is join in.”