I don’t know Adam Singer at Future Buzz, but he seems to get it … his post today offers for advice for folks like him labeled “The Web Guy” at their firm or agency on the challenges they face communicating in the sometimes arcane language of the Internet. He notes:
“It’s hard, sometimes nearly impossible, to describe things on the Internet without using other terms from, well, the Internet. And it’s even harder to catch people up on basic concepts that most of us active on the web already understand, and then go into the more complex ideas of what we’d actually like to do. You can’t tell someone to Google something face to face.”
Singer advises web guys to take the time to explain when they need to, use relevant examples, respect the talents of traditional media relations folks, and “communicate efficiently”–without, I’m assuming, all the technical detail not so relevant to telling a story.
It’s good advice. My humble talent is turning complex stories into compelling words — whether that’s a letter, a media pitch, messaging or brand positioning — and coming up with a strategy to engage people with those words. Web guys say “look what you can do” on the web … story guys say, “here’s the story — let’s get it out there.” And somewhere in the middle, we come to the realization that it’s not about stories, and it’s not about what you can do — it’s about turning those stories into conversations that drive sales, make people think, change minds, breed loyalty.
The only thing I’d add to Singer’s list is for web guys to remember that as transformative as the web is, it’s not the only game in town…and it’s still transforming. Some day, of course, there won’t be “web guys”, just like today PR folks don’t need “phone guys” or “TV guys” to explain to clients how those technologies work. But today, we need people exploring how these technologies can help or hurt, how they can help organizations build, enhance and maintain relationships in an media environment that encompasses the web…and so much more.