Just over two years ago I posted about a 'lost cat' poster stapled to trees in my neighbourhood, but a poster with a difference... this was a 'cat found' poster saying thank you to everyone who had helped recover the treasured pet.

Sometimes in business it's too easy to think that the value exchange, where I give you what you want in exchange for what I want, is the be all and end all... the customer has the product or service they were looking for, and we get money (or other currency, like attention).

But every business must strive for a relational rather than transactional customer, moving the focus from the once-off purchase to the lifetime value of the customer and the network of friends and family he / she might bring with them; so emotion comes into it, not just economic arithmetic.

Moreover, perhaps the transaction doesn't complete. I always check my shed to make sure I haven't locked the latest lost cat in there – and whilst I wasn't directly responsible for returning the cat in question above, I was thanked anyway.

Do you say "thank you"? If you do, do you do so in a way that's believable? Authentic? Or in a "have a nice day" automated sort of fashion that communicates no emotion whatsoever and just constitutes pollution?

I have a hypothesis that only those that are passionate about what they do and what they sell can find genuine feeling when conveying their thanks. And I look for this enthusiasm when considering my lifetime patronage of a cafe, bank, web host and, well, everything.

Thank you.

Thank you for your attention, to this Friday Roundup and the previous 160 or so!

Best regards, Philip and the MarCom Professional team.

Should B2B Copywriting Be More Conversational?

by Matt Ambrose of The Copywriter's Crucible

Should you write the way you talk? Many copywriters I follow (Dean Rieck for example) and learn from certainly think so. But persuading the B2B marketing crowd of conversational copywriting’s merits is another matter.

Conversational copywriting is an informal style that mimics they way you’d talk to a friend, but with all the ‘ums’ and ‘you knows’ taken out. Readers find it easy to read because it’s a friendly and fun way of writing. It offers benefits for copywriters too. More...

CIPR TV show notes: Bell Pottinger’s Claire Cater and CIPR CEO Jane Wilson on the Big Society

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

Whatever your view of the Big Society – and it’s clear that opinion is polarised – it’s success, or otherwise will require PR and communications to mobilise communities. Russell Goldsmith and I caught up with Bell Pottinger’s Claire Cater and CIPR CEO Jane Wilson on CIPR TV yesterday in a bid to grips with the Big Society and how changes to Government policy are likely to impact PR professionals.

The timing of the initiative couldn’t be worst coming as it does on the back of massive cuts in the public sector. More...

B2B Online Marketing Spending Outlook for 2011

by David H Deans of Digital Lifescapes

eMarketer reports that according to the results of a recent market study of business-to-business (B2B) marketers, traditional online tactics are still important.

Just over half of B2B marketers surveyed told BtoB Magazine their budgets would go up this year, but by less than 15 percent.

The primary marketing goal was customer acquisition (69%), with the greatest number of respondents expected spending increases for online (78%).

In contrast, 44 percent of the survey respondents said they would be spending more on events and 36 percent said more on direct mail. More...

Even Scoble agrees with me that Quora is all hype!

by Danny Whatmough of Wildfire

On Thursday, I wrote a blog about how I was amazed at the amount of hype Quora was receiving. One of the main perpetrators of this hype has been tech blogger extraordinare, Robert Scoble.

A month ago, he was full of praise for the service:

“Thanks Quora for providing a great community and way for people to communicate about what’s interesting in their lives in a new way. That’s innovation in blogging.”

And yet, today we get this:

“Turns out I was totally wrong [about it being a good service for blogging]. More...

Government Social Media: Five Questions For 2011

by Brian Solis of BrianSolis.com

Guest writer Dr. Mark Drapeau is the Director of U.S. Public Sector Social Engagement at Microsoft, and the editor of SECTOR: PUBLIC, a new online magazine about how science, technology, and innovation are affecting the public sector, public service, and civic improvement. You can follow him on Twitter at @cheeky_geeky.

The Federal government has made a good deal of progress toward being more transparent, collaborative, and participatory during the two years since President Obama took office. More...

Great example of Australian politician using social media for election campaigning

by Andrew Grill of London Calling

I noted with interest a new website haveabeerwithmike.com.au which has been launched to support Mike Baird (@mikebairdmp), the current Member for the Seat of Manly, one of Sydney’s beach suburbs.

In the great Aussie tradition of “having a beer”, Mike not only invites you to book him for a beer/coffee/chat via the website, but also shows you his recent check-ins.

It is a great site, and harnesses the power of social media well.

As mentioned on the site,

“Mike wants to have a beer with you. More...

What The Daily Could Mean for PRs

by Simon Hilliard of Racepoint Group

Today was a momentous day in the digital publishing world, or even the entire publishing world. Maybe.   Rupert Murdoch and some equally big deal types from Apple got up on stage to launch The Daily, the first newspaper designed solely for the iPad. Solely for now that is. Although Murdoch believes “this year and last year belongs to Apple” in tablet terms, he isn’t ruling out farming The Daily out to more tablets as they emerge. The new paper will feature 100 pages of fresh, original content daily, costing 99 cents a week or $39.99 a year on subscription. More...

Are you a content consumer or creator?

by Brian Solis of BrianSolis.com

You’ll soon learn why I’m posting shorter, but more frequent posts…In the mean time, I wanted to share with you something I’ve been thinking quite a bit about these days.

Think about the generation or two before us. A significant portion of free time was spent consuming media. From print to broadcast, everyday people simply digested information and content presented to them. But then everything changed. We were gifted with the ability to share what we think, feel, and experience, on demand. More...

Six Reasons Firms Build B2B Customer Communities

by Vanessa DiMauro of Leader Networks

The B2B online community may be the forgotten partner of the glitzy, headline and spotlight-grabbing B2C communities at the center of the social media revolution. In social media land, there is nothing more eye-catching than a community for a popular TV show, a cool consumer-facing site for coffee lovers or a sports team. Not to mention the tantalizing sound of the word "monetization!"

OK, the B2C communities are big, often flashy and backed by recognizable brand names. They're fun to talk about, as compared to the ho-hum business of building communities that help customers find solutions to core business issues in areas like technology, manufacturing or insurance. More...

Riding a real time Amazon announcement to reach an influential journalist

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

Last week I delivered a keynote about Real-Time Marketing & PR at the MarketingSherpa Email Summit in Las Vegas.

(Watch this space -- I will be releasing a free video of my presentation in a few weeks.)

A few days after the talk, Richard Harrison, president of SMTP.com contacted me to say that he had just used one of the techniques I discussed in my talk. Richard leveraged something going on in the news in real-time to get his company noticed.

I'll let Richard tell you what happened: More...