Tuesday, September 16, 2008

WSJ's Exclusive Club

At a networking event last week I reconnected with a marketing consultant I have known for years. Our conversation turned to an upcoming executive breakfast sponsored by the National Capital Chapter of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG).

“I’ve tried to join ACG in the past, yet the group has denied me membership,” the consultant explained.

ACG is predominantly comprised of corporate dealmakers, and private equity and investment banking community that supports merger/acquisition deal flow in the Washington, DC region. It is difficult for vendors to join and when a slot does open up, a consultant must also secure at least three new corporate members.

That’s how Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) became a member more than five years ago. In fact, to the best of my knowledge we are the only public relations agency member of ACG National Capital.

And you know what…I like it that way. It makes for better networking at ACG events and our participation in the group is validation of our expertise in financial communications.

The Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) decision to limit participation to only subscribers in its soon-to-be launched online community is a savvy move. I also like their requirement of full identification disclosure, thereby reducing the personal attacks that occur when people hide behind a pseudonym.

Will this limit the number of participants in WSJ’s social network? Absolutely! Yet, like my view on Strategic’s involvement in ACG National Capital, that is a good thing.

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