Employees to Become Authors
She made a quick but assertive remark, "You'll have to update your profiles now to include the word, "author!"
How cool is that? 96 employees just became "Authors."
Today, it happened again. 40 EMC employees wrote a "definitive reference book" which was published with EMC's logo and blessing called "Information Storage and Management." This one is structured to be a college text book and reference guide for industry professionals.
Both books have accompanying web 2.0 properties.
The books -- both quite different -- occurred serendipitously, with no orchestration between them.
They also have many strategic and similar attributes. They:
- Elevate EMC's brand. By merely existing, they speak to our values and culture as a company.
- Enhance the relationships we can have as a company with current and potentially new connections such as employees, customers, partners, professors, and informal influencers.
- Act as a sign of respect and recognition on behalf of the company to the Authors.
- Elevate the Personal Brands, as well as the sense of pride and accomplishment of everyone associated with writing and producing the books.
- Stretch the skills of our people and our company (we've never published books before!).
- and likely will ... meet the business case each advocate came up with when pitching the idea to his/her business unit or executive sponsor.
How cool is that?
This, to me, looks like the new face of branding. One that is experiential and participatory. One that has soul and is reflective of genuine people, passions and intellect. One that is not made on Madison Ave or in a PR person's office.
And unlike most ads or news releases produced by some very important and exclusive entity, you'll find regular folks who have a relationship with the company proudly telling and broadcasting the news about EMC's new books. They're telling their friends, neighbors, families and business associates. They're blogging about it, and tweeting about it. The reach is far and wide and true.
How Cool is That?
------------------ Talk Back ------------------
Do you see potential brand and employee engagement benefits by having a company publish books by employees?
What about the same idea, on a smaller scale -- having the company be okay with employee participation on social networks in a brand-supportive manner?