Blog and PR Lessons from Ender's Game

September 6, 2011
 

By Cathy
In a previous blog, I recounted the four critical management lessons in Orson Scott Card's sci-fi bestseller Ender's Game. Today, I want to look at what the book has to say about the business benefits of blogging.
“Every citizen started equal on the nets.”
Long before there was blogging or even the commercial Internet, Card told readers that worldwide communication networks would someday give a voice to anyone who chose to have one, regardless of how big or small he was.
He was referring to two child characters that rise to international prominence through their anonymous writings, but the statement holds true for today's businesses. For start-ups and for the best-known brands, the blogosphere provides a flat playing field. Depending on what a company does with content creation, public relations and SEO, “the nets” can serve as a powerful marketing tool that attracts key audiences: partners, employees, analysts, press and customers.
“It's a long way between writing a newsnet column and ruling the world.”
This is a memorable quote from the 1985 novel, primarily for its irony. As it turns out in the plot, it isn't that long a way between writing and ruling. Not at all.
The one who rules the world – either the galaxy or an individual marketplace – must share his views convincingly first. He must build an audience, get invited to speak to others' audiences and grow his following before finally accepting his hard-won position as leader.
These principles are valid regardless of whether its science fiction or modern-day business practices.
“We can't learn how our style of writing is working unless we get responses – and if we're bland, no one will answer.”
Card's child characters plot their blog strategy in the woods behind their house. The two have an inherent understanding of the tenets of blogging we discuss with our clients every day:

  • Comment on relevant, timely news.
  • Read what others have to say about similar topics and comment on their blogs.
  • Build a community.
  • Use the power of your reputation as a force for good in the universe.

Is your company pursuing worldwide dominance through blogging? What hurdles do you face in pursuit of thought leadership?

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