Chris Brogan's Put Away our Shotguns is a wonderful illustration about how to build relationships in marketing (and more specifically, how not to). And his comments can apply to any kind of longer-term relationship you want to build, including relationships with the members of your community.
After all, isn't that the heart of what we are trying to achieve in community: positive, long-term relationships with our customers, evangelists, partners or whomever your target audience is? Because real relationships are what can provide us with the types of benefits we want on both sides (brand loyalty, increased customer satisfaction, better service, product improvements, etc). But that requires more than a shotgun approach; real relationships are built up gradually over time.
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