This is labeled number zero because it is a problem that surfaces way before anything is done. In fact, it’s often the reason why nothing gets done, so until you overcome this fear, any effort is doomed to fail.
Traditional marketing offered a lot in terms of top-down control: advertising is the dream of anally-retentive managers, but even the less control-oriented disciplines carried a lot of attention to the issue of control: you control the message, the environment, you control who to be interviewed by, you control the language.
If the worst comes to the worse, a big spender could alway choke an unfriendly media by boycotting it (and perhaps encouraging others to do the same).
The latter does not really happen, except in extreme cases and when it does, its effectiveness is highly dubious, but it works like the Emergency Eject button in a fighter plane: hit it and you’re off to safety. Reassuring, if extreme.
Well, in the brave new world none of that exist and – mind you – we’re not talking about something that may happen in the future, but of things that already past us. The digital (publishing) world still relies on (much lower) ad dollars to survive, but the non-publishing world never received ad dollars or if it does, it’s through the impenetrable and uncontrollable PageRank algo which determines what gets viewed and what not.
The fact that we don’t know that they are talking about us, does not mean that they are not so my suggestion is “Get over it, control is gone, and will never return”.
Once we free ourselves form the nostalgia of a long gone past, we can concentrate on how to manage this new situation. Because while Control may be gone forever, Management is here to stay, and this is what my methodology is all about.