There is mashup of business strategy and corporate communications occurring that some companies are using to their advantage, while others are stumbling upon this potent combination by accident or intuition.
Let me give you some examples of what I mean:
-Dan Scheinman is head of Cisco's mergers and acquisitions, and also he is head of corporate communications. Whenever I mention this fact in conversation people are often very surprised. Yet Mr Scheinman has held this role for many years [Please see: Exclusive interview with Dan Scheinman...]
-Ingres, is a very interesting company, spun out of Computer Associates and revitalized as an open source database company under the management of some very savvy and bold investors. It is building a dream team of high powered enterprise software honchos.
Take a look: Ingres' CFO is Tom Berquist, a former star Wall Street star analyst, and its Comms Chief is arguably the top practitioner in the US, Jim Finn, former head of corporate comms at Oracle for many years, and most recently, head of comms at IBM Americas. That's a high powered strategy and comms team for a small open-source company. Clearly, its new owners have high ambitions.
[BTW, I am meeting with some of the Ingres team on Tuesday evening...]
-SAP is another very interesting example of this trend of combining business strategy with corporate comms, it has Jeff Nolan, head of its Apollo Strategy Group.
I met with Mr Nolan recently. Mr Nolan has very good visibility within the mediasphere [def: blogs+MSM] and access to the best of the mediasphere through his personal standing as an A-list blogger.
--Edelman, the world's largest PR agency has been acquiring A-list bloggers of similar standing to Mr Nolan. It is not a surprising strategy since Richard Edelman, its chief executive is also its chief blogger--an A-list blogger himself. He has been scooping up top A-list bloggers such as Steve Rubel, and Phil Gomes for the price of a salary! That is a bargain because it is becoming extremely difficult to build an A-list blogger brand--how many new names can you name in the last year or so?
If you can acquire people with personal media brands in the A-list, for the nominal payment of giving them a job--that is a bargain. Mr Edelman knows the value of such things because he has been a blogger for some time--this is not a knowledge that is acquired through reading about it, you have to be deeply involved in it to understand its dynamics, imho.
Might this emerging trend spur a "land grab" for the top blogger brands? I'm betting it will if the economics of the acquisitions are so attractively inexpensive.
Here is some more on this topic...