Paul Dunay of Networked Insights can’t imagine a world in which Brand Advocates read about a company’s new product in a press release. If you’ve connected with your Advocates in the social spaces, that’s where they should hear about it.
It’s counter intuitive to not give them special access to information. It’s important to foster that special relationship.
Most companies don’t think to do this, but you need to, and you should fight internally to get the right to do this. Dunay remembers at one past company he did have to fight with corporate communications, but ultimately got the right to invite the company’s Advocates to a webinar that announced the new product before the press release came out.
He likens his story to the famous Universal Theme Park case (Dunay accidentally mentioned Disney) in which the theme park invited a handful of select Harry Potter bloggers to get a sneak webinar preview of the new attraction “Wizarding World of Harry Potter.” This exclusive blogger preview was their first step. They could have gone with any type of expensive advertising push which they inevitably did. But they chose first to reach out to Harry Potter Advocates who were also influencers. The smart move translated into an eventual reach of 350 million people.