A Global Voice Starts On Your Street
Just recently we received a message from the Heidelberg University School of Business in Tiffin, Ohio. For their accomplished women in business lecture series, they were welcoming Carol-Lynn Parente, Executive Producer of Sesame Street as the first speaker of the 2011 school year. In preparation for the talk, they wanted to find articles related to the speaker to pass out to students--we are assuming to do more than make paper airplanes with. So they started their search with a search engine. What did they find? Our article about Sesame Street and what growing up on the friendliest street in the world taught us about business. Needless to say we thought that was pretty cool.
After requesting permission to use the article, they graciously extended us an offer to attend the lecture which got us even more excited. Unfortunately, creating sticky brand play means we get rather stuck in the office ourselves implementing all that awesome. It did get us talking about how exhilarating it was that they would resonate enough with our content to use it in introducing someone as talented and successful as Carol-Lynn Parente at an institution as highly regarded as Heidelberg.
Was it because we are a group of brilliant brainiacs who shape the landscape of the world of business through our thought-provoking prose? As much as we’d like to think so, the plastic dinosaurs in the reception area that frequently get placed in compromising positions aren’t making a case for us. If we could only have one guess as to why any information found on the web resonates with any one person it would be this: sincerity.
Whether you get your company’s word out using games, videos, writing, music or interpretive dance, the sincerity of your content will be perceived by your customers. Interactive marketing is greater than just getting more traffic, more eyeballs, and more attention. It’s about building relationships, creating community and facilitating reciprocal action amongst individuals or groups that has a real purpose. And if you want to create lasting and effective relationships, you have to be sincere.
From a simple search engine phrase to our content being passed around a lecture hall of students, staff and community members roughly 2,350 miles away, we think that sincerity was perceived. It just goes to show that, though we all come from different areas and different perspectives, there is always that one thread of an idea can bring people together as they approach it from both ends. Creating genuine content really does have the power to reach people in ways you never though possible. Your voice is big and though the internet may be bigger, someone out there is going to connect with what you have to say provided you say it like you mean it.
So what’s the formula? What steps can you take to creating these relationships? As Jim Henson said of his goals for Sesame Street, he wanted “…to get across the idea of a global community, to make the world a little smaller and friendlier…” With that goal in mind, it’s almost impossible not to create sincere, engaging and genuine content.
Thanks to Heidelberg University for sharing our article with your students and proving that Mr. Henson was right, as he has been on so many occasions.
Jim Henson quotes from: “It’s Not Easy Being Green, and Other Things to Consider,” Hyperion, NY (2005) p.162