Messin’ with the Mermaid

“These days, a company leader’s most important job may be that of chief communicator, followed closely by pom squad chief. Those who master these talents can outlast and outmaneuver their strongest competitors … The goal isn’t to please the masses but to make time to listen to their ideas, to acknowledge and appreciate them. Then maybe the masses will be receptive to hearing our ideas. Thank you, social media, for giving us the tools to do that.”

That’s an excerpt from Whose Logo Is It Anyway, a post that appeared on yesterday’s New York Times’ small business blog, You’re the Boss. While the post focused primarily on Starbucks’ recent logo change and the public’s strong, mixed reaction, it also offered businesses a much-needed reminder that communication — especially where social media are concerned — is a two-way street.

Companies that merely use Twitter to blast out press releases, for example, are missing the true value and the essential nature of the tool.

As a growing number of marketing and PR experts have warned, don’t even bother launching social media initiatives if you’re not going to 1) listen to the conversations taking place and 2) respond to comments, criticisms and questions directed at you.

That’s good advice whether you’re Starbucks or Buck’s Burger Barn.

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