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Brand first. Tweet second.

July 29, 2010

In the old days, marketing departments controlled all outgoing messages. They ensured the consistency of voice and content because they produced or managed it all— print ads, tv and radio spots, websites, brochures, press releases, annual reports and all other forms of corporate communication. It doesn’t work that way anymore. Today, folks in every department are given the opportunity to twitter on company letterhead. Which is very cool. But that means that now, more than ever, it’s essential that organizations have a company playbook or brand manual (or social media manifesto!) that everyone understands and can work with. Yes, even in this age of social media dominated marketing, brand matters. A lot.  You see, just because we’re replacing radio buys with minimum wage tweeters, viral video producers and PR pros who are populating Facebook pages and commenting on comments, doesn’t mean that we can relinquish old school brand development work. These forms of communication must be grounded in an established and agreed upon brand platform. So join me in taking a twitter timeout while we take care of the basics. Branding is step one. Let’s ensure that all our players are heading toward the same goal line. Let’s make sure they’re all running the same play. Then we can get back to tweeting our corporate messages 140 characters at a time.

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