Dig Like a Miner, Spin Like a Turbine

I just renamed this blog Turbine. It doesn’t hurt that a turbine combines “wind” and “spin,” but there’s a larger point to be made about how a turbine works and relates to communications.

The point has to do with the difference between using kinetic and potential energy as a source of power. Turbines harness the wind, turning that kinetic energy into renewable electrical power. Wind is generally created by two forces: air flowing from cold places to hot places and the rotation of the earth. It isn't predictable, but it's free. Coal is a good example of potential energy -- something we can mine, store and burn when we need a predictable dose of power. 

Being in this business makes you contemplate the forces that create attention. There are always stores of potential energy inside of companies waiting to be tapped for attention and many could help people outside the organization understand what the company is trying to do. Part of our job in communications is like mining — we dig those items out, refine them and put them to good use. They’re a limited resource and can be expensive to produce, but they are more easily controlled.

Then there are the prevailing trends — those interesting ideas already swirling in the atmosphere. Human interest naturally flows from cold topics to hot topics, and people wake up every morning looking for timely information that relates to their lives. That’s the environmental kinetic energy that a communications pro can harness to power a company’s growth. It’s less efficient and less predictable, but it's renewable and it's free to all.

Whether you are talking about electricity or interest, you need to use both sources of power intelligently for the right mix of free, renewable energy and storable, predictable energy.