12 January 2009 5 Comments

The danger in conversation

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

dangerconverseIn my search for how best to wrap up our discussion on web 2.0, customer engagement, conversation marketing etc, I stumbled on an article that has been on my shelf for close to two years written by Elizabeth Mckee of Charlotte viewpoint, an opinion magazine of charlotte, North Carolinas US with the titled The risk of conversation and   I think that article will worth our observation. I do know that why many brands do not want to get involve in conversation is because they may lose control of their hold on the customer and information available to them. But if because of that, brands refuse to join the conversation, it will be detrimental.

In the said article, Mckee began by citing Theodore Zeldin’s work The Art of Conversation’ which says ‘The kind of conversation I am interested in is one which you start with a willingness to emerge a slightly different person. It is always an experiment whose results are never guaranteed. It involves risk. It’s an adventure in which we agree to cook the world together and make it taste less bitter…the aspect of conversation that particularly excites me: how conversation changes the way we see the world and even changes the world’


This is the kind of conversation that captures my thought when I talk about conversation marketing. It is this kind that brands engage in without a note of persuasion to buy, or presenting an expert opinion. It does mean that this kind of conversation is really hard to engage in but the dividends are great. This kind makes a brand vulnerable as you may expose certain secret about yourself, it is centred on exchange of ideas, opinions that every participants share. Please mark every participant as it formed the key words.

If this is guaranteed, then we can be rest assured that our brands will thrive. Every good endeavor requires risk, so my advice is let us take this calculated risk. Even though conversation involves trust, exchanges and sharing which may make it a no go area for those who have something to hide. But I guess it worth it coins.

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