Blame the bogeyman!

January 13, 2010 at 10:10 am | Posted in social media | 8 Comments
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This is how some marketing managers see me. Photo by bbaltimore.

I’ve long found that when it comes to (internal and external) communications, fortune truly favours the brave.

Most clients take my advice to do bold and exciting new things. Yet some worry about their team’s reaction.

The most common backlash sources are:

  1. Fear of the new (by inflexible or incorrectly skilled staff).
  2. Loss of power or prestige (by letting a freelancer do the work of permanent IT, OD, QC, HR, PR, admin or marketing professionals).

To counter these anxieties, I tell my clients to blame the ‘copywriter bogeyman’. Something like:

‘If you think these ideas will meet resistance, put my name at the bottom of the page. That way, staff won’t resent you and I can duke it out with the naysayers for the entertainment of the go-getters.’

Some clients prefer to blame the bogeyman when change is needed.

Others involve their workforce from the outset.

Though I realise not every team is full of bright sparks, I naturally prefer the second approach. Especially if the client wants to get into something as people-centric as social media.

Consultation and collaboration also mean you get more brains working on this pivotal area.

And grass-roots movements have much greater force than top-down directives.

The bottom line is, I can work any way you want.


Paul Hassing, Founder and Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire.


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  1. Boo!

    I reckon some might consider me the bogeyman’s bogeyman? 🙂

    I don’t even talk to clients (well not at the moment anyway :-)…I just generally harass everyone via social media :-). Easy to do without a ‘vested’ interest.

    But then, though we can measure the atmospheric content of distant planets and what color shirt a ‘consumer’ was wearing when they went to a particular web page for 13 nanoseconds, valuing, let alone remunerating random acts of ‘bogeyness’ (and/or kindness), here on good ol’ planet Google, seems yet to evade our ken… 😛

    I remember when I was a Content Manager for a large Independent Publishing Company a couple of years ago. It really staggered me how difficult it was to engage even magazine editors with their public via online media (at that stage blogs and forums). These were the same people that ran competitions and other resource intensive adventures in an attempt to engage their readers via their magazines. Go figure!

    I reckon good ol’ Einstein was onto something when he said ‘that problems can’t be solved within the mind-set that created them’. Perhaps he was talking to some advanced alien at the time and hadn’t figured on conveying such notions to humans…who are of course convinced that we are individually everything and that any deficiencies exist only in others…and that if only everyone else would just change, then everything would be fine. Ah yes! The good ol’ ‘human element’ ey? 🙂 Everything seems to go so exceedingly well until we add that bit doesn’t it? 🙂 And humans seem to have this annoying habit of dragging ‘reality’ around with them wherever they go…and usually attributing that to bogeymen as well.

    Oh that’s right! That’s what a sense of humour for isn’t it? Glad to see yours is alive and well cobber and that you are yet willing to stand full-frontal on the battlefield of sooth, fighting the good fight. Who knows, we may one day triumph and live to see the naysayers become ‘yaysayers’ and ‘go-getters’ become ‘bring-backers’ or heaven forbid, ‘sharers’? 🙂

    Good luck ol’ Bean…I’ve got your metaphorical back 🙂


    Stephen G

    • At last! I have a comment from The Stephen. NOW my blog is truly alive!

      I’m not even going to respond to all your points. I’m just going to read and re-read your words to reassure myself that I indeed have you in this orbit.

      Thank you for having the front to get my back, Mate. You’ve given me the best of both worlds! 🙂

  2. Haha! You’re flattery will get you everywhere Good Sir 🙂

    Always a practical and informative pleasure to encounter your fine posts mate 🙂


    Stephen G

    PS I did comment on your excellent post a few days ago 🙂

    • Oh dear; you did too. Sorry about that! I got carried away. Monstrous! 🙂

  3. Love this post! Love your writing, Paul. Fresh and punchy, always worth a read…

    But please tell how I can blame the bogeyman when I am a solopreneur – or do we have bogeyment too? Just off to check my cupboards for shadow monsters 🙂

    • Love your feedback, Joanna! And all those enthusiastic retweets you’ve been doing.

      I imagined you’d be a bogeyman for your clients. Though to come to you, they’re probably pretty switched on to start with.

      As to your own need for change, I’ve formed the impression that, while it may take you a few goes and sting a bit, you’re pretty good at hurling yourself through flaming doors for the betterment of your business.

      Does that sound about right to you? 🙂

  4. Fear of the new and fear of losing control are big problems in big organisations. I have some experience here. It’s good when folk have the autonomy to act, but sometimes things don’t get done. There’s a well known 90-9-1 rule in social media. 90 watch. 9 comment. 1 does. Interesting. Great post Paul.

    • Hi Adam! I’d not heard of that social media rule. I actually like the idea of a great, silent mass of souls monitoring our every utterance.

      Now, if the 90 watchers could just use their spare time to buy my ebook, I’d be home and hosed! Thank you very much for your comment. 🙂

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