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Friday, 17 August 2007

Not completely e-Bay


An eBay catalogue arrived through my door the other day. And after my initial confusion that the items displayed within it did not need to be purchased in the next few hours, and they were, in fact, sample products from some of the site’s more established traders, I noticed a more significant point about the company’s approach to external communications.

As a web-based outfit, you could be forgiven for thinking that eBay might solely promote itself online, but they are big enough and wise enough to know that a more holistic approach works best.

We all know the power and effectiveness of e-comms, but there is something to be said for good old human habit. If I’ve got five minutes to kill before the football comes on, I might well flick through the Ikea, Argos or (since two days ago) eBay catalogues – but I’m not going to get the laptop out specifically to do it for that amount of time.

This also backs a viewpoint that traditional hard-copy newspapers will never die out as sources of news – so they, along with online news sites, should continue to be a priority for PR activity. People, by their very nature, are habitual ‘flickers’. And I’m not talking about a photo-sharing web forum.

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