Fire the publicist. Go off message. Let all your employees blab and blog. In the new world of radical transparency, the path to business success is clear.
This month’s Wired has an article about transparency that every association and nonprofit executive should read.
Transparency is a judo move. Your customers are going to poke around in
your business anyway, and your workers are going to blab about internal
info – so why not make it work for you by turning everyone into a partner in the process and inviting them to do so?
Honesty and transparency are what good customer service is all about. Even limited access to CEOs and top execs gives customers invaluable reassurance that a) they’re being listened to and b) they matter.
The reputation economy creates an incentive to be more open, not less. Since Internet commentary is inescapable, the only way to influence it is to be part of it. Being transparent, opening up, posting interesting material frequently and often is the only way to amass positive links to yourself and thus to directly influence your Googleable reputation.
Note: the article references YAFSAS (Yet Another Freakin’ Southwest Airlines Story). You’ve been warned.
Update (4/3): ASAE gets more transparent – releases board meeting press release [via Ben Martin].