One example discussed was Google’s hiring of Vint ‘Father of the Internet’ Cerf last year, and giving him the title of ‘Chief Internet Evangelist.’ Cerf explained, his job as “Helping people understand–both inside and outside of Google–what Google’s potential is.”
Though I am in no way comparing myself to Cerf, when my last company was acquired by LexisNexis that was the same title I was to have at LexisNexis Marindale-Hubbell. My job was to be an evangelist internally and externally as to effective Internet legal marketing in the consumer and small business space. Title rubbed some folks at Martindale-Hubbell the wrong way.
What is a corporate evangelist? Take it from a guy who did it at Apple and lives and breadths the stuff, Guy Kawasaki.
Evangelism is about selling your dream so that other people believe in it as much as you do. Those people then, in turn, get even more people to believe. Just like Jesus was an evangelist who recruited 12 more evangelists.
Blogs are an excellent medium for corporate evangelists and blogs are discussed at length in the article. Ignoring blogs at your peril, having employees blogging without the PR people involved and getting customers raving about your product or service on blogs are all covered.
A client of Steve Rubel’s, my source for this picked up some nice coverage in this example.
Motor-scooter company Vespa recently brought in two fans as unpaid bloggers on its website. “Vespa has incredible fans, and we thought the best approach was to let the customers tell their stories online,” says “micropersuasion” strategist Steve Rubel, whose firm, CooperKatz, was hired by Vespa to do online marketing. Real people giving testimony is a cornerstone of evangelism. Instead of salaries, the bloggers get an opportunity to test out new models, plus pick up the occasional seat cover or rain jacket. More important to them, they get a big forum to write about their passion. “My agenda is to get more people scootering and get more people to buy Vespa,” says Neil Barton, 32, whose full-time gig is running a computer network for a publisher.
Good article to print out and keep on the desk. Note to self – get more of LexBlog’s clients sharing their blog successes via blogs as opposed to just emails and phone calls.