A senior research executive at Universal McCann, Tom Smith, has urged companies to respond now to the changing behaviour of people, rather than wait until it’s too late. He makes his comments in the January 2007 Revolution magazine which published details of Universal McCann’s latest research on blogging. This has discovered that 48% of people aged 16 to 44 have visited blogs. Some 26% write blogs and a further 20% plan to start a blog. However, RSS and podcasts are not making much of an impact with very low usage rates. The Universal McCann study also shows how tremendously important social networks are, with 74% of people using them to review products or services. In the same issue of Revolution magazine, John Gaffney of Peppers and Rogers Group suggests that newspapers may soon be the vinyl records of media. Taken together these two reports show the growing importance of the interactive elements of the Internet for many people. It further underlines the need to have an active company blog, to take blogging and social networking seriously and to have it at the heart of your organisation’s media strategy.
If you are a “big change” business, then you are like my garden fence. Leaving it unpainted for so long has created much more work, at a higher cost, than if it had been tended to every year. Ignoring reviews of your online activity for long periods also means you make more work for yourself and raise your costs.