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01 March 2006


Thank you very much for your comments on these common "fears" of blogging and public relations. I am a public relations student at Auburn University and I have just begun to blog within the past couple of months. It is not a surprise to me that one of the main fears is the loss of control. For the most part, I have noticed, people in the field of public relations don't mind if things get a little chaotic or if unexpected events take place as long as they still feel like they have everything under their thumb. The minute that things are out of our control is when things start to fall apart. This goes for presentations, crisis management, or even simply pitching a campaign. It is comforting to know that there are certain rules and procedures that are followed to prevent chaos from taking place. I am keeping my eyes and ears open everyday to become more and more familiar with these procedures so that the loss of control is no longer a concern of mine.

Hey Sheila, thank you for this great input, you're giving another very good exemple of how blogging brings people to a permanent improvement, and by the way why comments should be rather open than closed.
The tour has been different in every country: France was much more as a workshop, people have been invited to contribute and propose their own answers, in Germany, it was much more a traditional presentation but very smart thanks to David's talent to engage with the audience, Italy has been estonishing as people have been listening with a lot of attention during 2 hours ! We then have had a little break prior to listen (no one left during the break) and answer their questions, but they have shown a strong interest in the blogosphere as we've been describing it to them.

For sure, as soon as we organise a more "workshop" oriented tour, I won't miss to drop you a line !
Thanks for making a stop here ! ;o)

Photos of the tour are available in my moblog Winks, http://prplanet.typepad.com/wink/

Hey Guillaume, very nice meeting you. I hope we stay in touch.

Guillaume, the "loss of control" concerns sound just like the emotional responses of people who are starting theatre sports (i.e., theatrical improvisation) for the first time.

How can I do this with no script or rules? What if I do something wrong while people are looking at me? What if things get out of hand?

It is the feeling of walking on a tightrope without a net.

But improv is also like blogging in that there are best practices that minimize the risk and optimize the chance to succeed. (To an audience, improv may look like it has "no rules" but there are actually standard improv conventions that train actors use to make improv look easy.) The rules are the net.

I do a lot of presentations, and I always like to get the audience out of their chairs and moving around.

In your situation, I would be tempted to run a scenario like this:

Tell them you are going to give a demonstration about loss of controll.

Ask for some really brave volunteers. Tell them you are going to embarass them.

Put three people in front of the room, tell them they have 20 seconds to improvise a scene, and then yell "Go". Chaos should ensue.

Then, give them a simple theatre sports game. Explain to them how it works, and how, within those constraints, they can improvise whatever they want. They should make a great scene out of it.

Thank them heartily, and get the room to applaud. Sit them down.

Explain how the exercise is an analogy for the improvisational nature of blogging.

That's a bare bones explanation, but I hope you get my drift.

And, if you ever want to give something like this a shot, drop me a line, and I'd be delighted to point you towards some great online resources on theatre games, and suggest some "rules" that essentially guarantee your volunteers create a winning scene on the second try.

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