Venn-ting about the Communications Business

There's a lot of chatter amongst bloggers in the marketing, public relations and advertising industries about about Venn diagrams and a movement away from silos.

Venn diagrams, for those of you who don't know, are diagrams that show all hypothetically possible logical relations between a finite collection of sets (aggregation of things), per Wikipedia.

The concept was created by a guy by the name of John Venn and they are primarily used to teach elementary set theory, as well as illustrate simple set relationships in probability, logic, statistics, linguistics and computer science.

As they relate to the communications business (marketing, PR, advertising, social media, etc.), Venn diagrams are imitating life. The communications space is so muddled these days that advertisers are marketers and PR pros are advertisers. Despite different approaches to communications, our end result is always engagement.

With social media, the lines between the professions were erased and a Venn diagram was put in its place. At the center is engagement, i.e. getting a group of people to do something as it relates to that specific brand or cause. On the outskirts (or the other bubble areas) is messaging (PR and advertising), content (PR and marketing) and creative (advertising and marketing).

Not until social media was discussed in the board room was the concept of a Venn diagram in the communications business considered reality. But, if you ask an advertising pro what they do for a living vs what a marketer will tell you, the same buzz words will spew from their mouths like foam from a rabid dog.

Basically, social media has turned the communications business on it's head, flipped it back on its feet, then flipped on its side, only to be flipped back on its head again.

What I really mean is, there is no heads and no tails. There's one common goal and that's engagement of a specific audience, i.e. the bulls-eye of the Venn diagram.

The key for social media to taking on more of a prominent role in the board room is when marketers, advertisers, PR pros and social media strategists can come together and admit that online engagement is in the center of the communications universe. Funny thing is that the catalyst to all of this stems from the explosion of blogs as a legitimate engagement platform. And if you think just eight or so years ago, blogs we're even considered valid news sources.

If you were to draw a Venn diagram depicting the communications business as it relates to online engagement, what would it look like?

Article first published as Social Venn-ting Paves Way to Engagement on Technorati.