Right now I’m at WOMMA, a Word of Mouth conference. We don’t really advertise the Discovery Educator Network. I mean, we might wind up doing a few sponsorships and passing out some branded items, but for the most part we don’t advertise and nor do we really need to. The reason is that DEN isn’t about a product nor is it about a service. It’s about us connecting one teacher to another and facilitating these connections. It’s naturally infectious. Consequently, we’re always looking for ways to spread the good word. We don’t want people to participate in the DEN because we’ve got a great tag line or because our promotional material looks pretty, we want people to participate because it’s a network that will be beneficial to the people involved in a very practical, personal way. When people think about the DEN, they shouldn’t just think about Discovery Education and products that we sell, they should think of the other teachers in their state that they just met and made new connections with, or the ideas that they heard about using digital media that they can take directly to the classroom. The most important word in DEN is Network. Typically, educators don’t do a lot of networking, so Discovery Education is jumping in to facilitate that.
That’s basically a long winded way of saying, whether you like what you’ve seen DEN doing or you don’t, YOU are the way that we spread the word. You probably have no idea just how powerful your phone calls and emails are. A single email is enough to stir the entire company into action. Your words have power. Betsy and I aren’t attending this conference about Word of Mouth because we want to learn how to do it, it’s because we want to identify new ways to be more responsive to your input and feedback.
Heh, one of the things that people here are talking about quite a bit is the difference between customers and fans. I just realized that I’m really a big fan of what Discovery is doing. That’s on a very personal level, beyond the fact that they give me a paycheck.
Think about the products that you use in your school; software, hardware, services, etc… What are you truly a fan of? Enough that you take every opportunity to let people know just how great they are?