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Citizen Marketers

When People Are the Message
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A solitary citizen today with a broadband connection and several inexpensive or free tools has a substantially better chance of influencing the public's perceptions of billion-dollar corporations than ever before.

With a voice, a vote, and a vocation, tens of millions of Americans are involving themselves in the cultural lives of business. The "social media" of blogs, podcasts, and social networks are fusing pop culture with traditional marketing, and it's causing all manner of disruption.

Citizen Marketers makes the case that the distributed, power-sharing nature of social media is a reflection of the ideals of democracy, where liberty, free speech and freedom of association are its ruling principles. As a result, positioning, message delivery and reputation management are in the hands of the populace, where anyone can be a publisher or broadcaster. For tradition-bound managers, the message is simple: Control is out of control. People are creating content about products and services, whether companies like it or not. They are the new cultural influencers.

Paradoxically, the citizen marketers themselves are not your typical members of society or customer databases. That makes them either progressive or dangerous. Citizen Marketers examines and classifies the work of everyday people who build content on behalf of products, brands, companies, or people and provides a framework for working with them.

More cultural guide than business or marketing book, Citizen Marketers examines the significant changes caused by social media. Citizen Marketers outlines a common architecture of participation for the everyday person as citizen marketer, entertainer, or information source. It's ideal for readers hoping to convince colleagues, coworkers, or clients about the broad and tactical changes social media are having on business, marketing, and popular culture.

©2006 Ben McConnell and Jackie Huba (P)2006 North and Clark Press

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