Lawyers give birth to originality…who’d have thought?


Our February 23 post touched on the fact that while new tools and brilliant opportunities for modern dialogue are exploding all over the place, the traditional communications world is wrestling with the idea of granting respectability to vehicles like YouTube. Well, leave it to the legal system to jumpstart respectability. Viacom is all over GooTube (please, please change that name) for copyright infringement and is seeking $1 billion in damages.

Seems reasonable.

Taking a step back – and this will tie together – the public relations world has latched onto thought leadership as the only way to go to promote today’s brands. Obviously Telos is biased in concurring with this opinion, but the interesting piece here is the value proposition. ROI has been the sticking point for marketing efforts since cavemen chipped their first product announcement (most likely “wheel” or perhaps “breath mint”) into stone. Today, however, there is a growing acceptance that the role of trusted advisor to target audiences doesn’t just support the sales cycle peripherally – it drives it. Like a concrete block tied to the accelerator.

Forrester took this on with a series of studies most notably focused on blogs and the pursuit of ROI. Very interesting findings, the most relevant of which is that because of the true goal of business blogs (and, for the sake of this post, all online media vehicles) is creating community and promoting trust in a brand. Communities ask questions and give answers, they let companies know what’s on their minds. They drive business, they are business.

Here’s where it all comes together. [Google’s YouTube is sued] + [ROI is found in online community] = [the Future]. The media world is headed in a new direction, one where recycled content is eliminated and original thought is all that’s left. Educators, philosophers and business leaders will hold seats of power amongst audiences depending on their level of participation, insight and innovation.

And we have the lawyers at Viacom to thank for it.


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