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A camel is a horse designed by committee. Sure, it’s got an onboard water reservoir, but it isn’t nearly as quick or nimble as it ought to be.

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What do you get when you cross a horse with a committee? (Photo from http://animalvista.com)

So it is with the press release model, a clumsy style of writing by committee. Public relations experts spend way too much time and effort gathering the facts, generating fake quotes from executives, and then shopping the increasingly butchered document around for approval from a phalanx of other executives and cohorts.

“I’m not sure we will ever cure the addiction to press releases, but we should be able to manage the disease with alternative formats,” a colleague told me. “They can get better communications results by using other formats, such as blogs and articles.”

When prompted recently to think about better ways of reaching out to the press, I thought back to a blog post from this month about one-to-one marketing. Individually reaching out to a handful of journalists interested in a specific topic, I reasoned, would be far more valuable than blasting an impersonal press release to hundreds of reporters on a distribution list — and hoping that the release would find fertile ground in a least a few places it had been scattered.

Peace of Mindset

There are many ways to effectively communicate, but institutional inertia is tough to overcome. So we often have to start with people’s mindset, which can be just as difficult because people grow ever more comfortable with familiarity.

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Siddharth Taparia wrote in SAP Business Trends about how India’s universal identification program uses Big Data to improve the lives of millions of poor people.

That is why we’re trying to cultivate and showcase innovative thinking on SAP Business Trends.

Some organizations don’t see the business value in evolving IT strategy, while others clearly do. So conversations about intersecting value and strategy help everyone connect dots and open doors to emerging business trends.

SAP Business Trends garnered almost 73,000 page views in Q4 — more if you count views from previous quarters’ blog posts. Q1 of 2013 looks even better with strong content, such as:

Early Adopter

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SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann tried on clothes virtually in a store of the future at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show.

Oliver Bussmann knows a thing or two about business trends. He’s the SAP CIO who deployed more than 18,000 iPads to the company’s workforce.

“I have to watch [new wireless and mobile] trends because it becomes the demand in enterprise mobility,” Bussmann said earlier this month. “We at SAP are also helping our customers connect with their customers through mobile, game-changing consumer apps.”

While Bussmann went to the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to find out what was new and hot in his industry, the rest of us can stay put. The market landscape is changing, and SAP Business Trends is following it.

Odds and Trends

I’m not betting that my press release suggestions will revolutionize how public relations experts do their jobs at SAP — or anywhere else. But a lot of what you read on SAP Business Trends is doing nothing short of changing the world.

And none of it is written by a committee.

Related Media:

Mobile Devices and Customer Service to Make 2013 the Year of the Consumer” on SAP Business Trends

Q4 Results Reward SAP’s Pioneering Walk in the Cloud” on SAP Business Trends

SAP CIO Explores Consumer Technologies Impacting the Enterprise at CES” on YouTube

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