“People Just Want to Be Heard”

MIMA and MCAD co-sponsor an ongoing salon entitled, Conversations About the Future of Advertising, (twitter tag #catfoa) at the Fine Line Music Cafe in downtown Minneapolis.

The speaker tonight was Alan Wolk. He was talking about brands in relation to social media.

My favorite part of the evening was when he was relating the @comcastcares story and he simply stated, “People just want to be heard.”

After he presented, it was more of a discussion forum with Q & A. Wolk brought up the fact that advertising agencies just want this interactive stuff to go away. I personally have a hard time understanding why there is a hesitancy to understand the new. A challenge to remain relevant is real. The market has always required business to evolve. As user experience professionals trying to create value and continually grow our practice we must take notice of the possibilities for interaction. There is more opportunity to be relevant and to be able to understand what is relevant by simply listening.

I asked Wolk what he thought about the place for agencies as the voice of their clients. Agencies twittering, blogging or somehow representing a client. He said he was on the fence. On this point, I decided that I believe that as long as you are honest about who is doing the talking, it doesn’t matter if you let your agency speak for you. Your customers will expect you to be open with them about communication that comes from you and its source.

Because, if in fact, people just want to be heard, brands that want to be relevant will need to listen.

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