I have always been against “people announcements” in companies – not because I think that people are not interested in some “star announcements” but because I believe that “personality cult/promotion” is not reflective of how a company really works and it can negatively impact morale – especially when less known individuals or teams are having a disproportionate impact on the company’s success.
All that being said, I also believe that most people could care less…
Well I maybe wrong on that last point. According to a little test done by McClenehanBRUeR Communications and as reported on their blog (via Amy Gahran at Contentious), they sent out an email newsletter on behalf of one of their customers that contained all kinds of seemingly interesting content – including white papers and the like – as well as a few links to press releases at the bottom of the newsletter. The item with the highest number of click-throughs was a little news item about a couple of new people joining that company’s advisory board.
While there is too little information to draw any serious conclusions (make sure you check the comment exchange between Amy and Jeff – the author of the post), it triggered a couple of interesting thoughts (at least I think so).
First off, promoting external advisers or board members is not the same as “personnel announcements”. They are an indication that you are trying to open up another channel of market feedback into your strategy – be it your go-to market strategy, your product strategy or any other strategic issues that you are dealing with. And the most valuable proxies for good feedback/advise (=advisers) will also likely enjoy somewhat of a good reputation in your markets.
The second thought that I had when reading this is that most companies that do hire advisory boards do so for news-generation purposes only instead of for getting the great advise that such boards can deliver if managed properly.