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Not Prince Hamlet

"Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse."

What'd She Say--er Sell? A Rejoinder

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

One more thing: the moms tabbed by P&G to talk up their stuff are all women with extensive social networks. From the Business Week story:

"P&G concentrates
on finding women who have large social networks. Vocalpoint moms, who
range in age from 28 to 45, generally speak to about 25 to 30 other
women during the day, where an average mom speaks to just five."

Any civics junkie with her salt will immediately hear echoes of Robert Putnam here, the Harvard sociologist who has done his darndest to make civic involvement cool again. One of Putnam's main Theses is that people's social connections, their circle of friends with whom they associate and socialize, is a major indicator of their civic involvement. In other words, the more friends you have (or, at least, the more people you're friendly with), the more vital you are to the civic fabric of your community. Because how do people find out what's going on in their community? Mostly through the people who know what's going on and who then tell their friends.

Well, Vocalpoint is nothing else if it isn't this same principle applied to marketing. So my question is: why does this kind of thing only have appeal to people in the private sphere? Is it because they reap a material benefit, rather than a community one, one that is less easy to measure?

Why don't we recruit 600,000 people to go to city council meetings or organize neighborhood block parties? Anyone?

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posted by Not Prince Hamlet, 7:50 AM

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