Just seen this post over at Seth Godin’s blog. In some ways he’s right, it is often tempting to organise products or services around ourselves and not our users. I used to work in a Local Authority where we were trying to do just what Seth is saying and put (in our case) the service users at the heart of delivery as opposed to our organisational structure.

What he says is right but some of the examples he gives demonstrate very effectively how tough the process can be.

e.g. When you go to Home Depot to get what you need to build something out of wood, why don’t you find the glue and the wood saws and the screwdrivers and the screws all together in a section called, “working with wood”?

That’s fine, it sounds sensible except that last time I went into a DIY store I needed a drill (where would that be?) and I also needed drill bits and rawl plugs for both masonry and wood…

My point is that people are all unique so re-organisation has to be about flexibility and responsiveness. Seth’s Home Depot is analogous to the challenges faced by PR. We used to be able to write for nicely boxed up target audiences, but the internet is breaking down all those neatly constructed boxes, replacing them with a much more organic structure.

Where as “PR 1.0” was all about broadcasting, what we are faced with now seems to me to be finding a correspondingly organic way of communicating. Some might call that conversation.


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