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October 11, 2011

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Hi David...thanks for the great write up...you are correct, a lot of work to be done. I say this often...if this was a baseball game, we'd be just getting out of the dugout in the first inning.

Thanks for keeping the conversation going.
Joe

Thanks, Joe. The conference was very impressive.

As I mentioned to you earlier today, I’ve been around the conference/communication business for 20 years, and the last time I saw a crowd like that for something “new” was before the social media craze; it was in 1995, and it was about communicating on that Internet thingy.

People were looking at the presenters’ screens and pointing and saying: “Is that the Internet?”

Before I left the house for Day #2 of CMW2011, I posted this to my Facebook page:

"Headed back to Cleveland today for Day Two of Content Marketing World. The event is really about public relations. Folks here just don't know it yet."

As a PR professional for 15 years and PR educator for 20, much of what I do is storytelling in content that informs, persuades, excites -- and sometimes even apologizes. But in all the years I've attended PR conferences, I never felt the kind of energy I felt in Cleveland last month. Credit Joe for putting on a great show, but this energy level also tells me there's something special about the "content marketing" idea.

What made the conference different is that so many of us weren't sure why we attended. What I found at CMW was a mixed bag of marketers, promoters, authors -- and a few pitchmen -- trying to understand where marketing is headed post mass-media.

It was familiar turf to me as a PR guy. But I learned plenty from my marketing colleagues who led most of the sessions. After hearing Sally Hogshead speak, I bought her book and read it. Great stuff. And thanks to Robert Rose's discussions of Hollywood storytellers, I went back to Kent State and blew up my plan for a "Strategic Writing" course. And it's always a pleasure to hear the insights of David Meerman Scott, whose books I use in two different classes here.

When a conference has that kind of impact on a jaded old guy like me, that oughta tell you something.

David, as your "ContentWise" story points out, I was concerned about the absence of an ethics discussion or theme in the sessions. But if the content marketing concept takes root, those elements will grow with it. Given importance of transparency in the online world, ethics isn't optional.

Next year's conference, -- assuming Joe is willing to do it again -- could be just what the PR and marketing people need to make "Integrated Communications" finally work.

Great comments, Bill. Experiencing this event with you was both grounding and inspiring. Maybe we'll do it again next year. High hopes ....

I hope we can do it again, David. I'll stay for beers next time.

There's one more reason I like this post. It reminded me to turn in my CMW expenses for reimbursement. I'm just hoping a credit card receipt from "Junta42" will get by the accountants.

Excellent post. It makes me realize the energy of words and pictures. I learn a lot, thank you! Wish you make a further progress in the future.

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