By: Scott McMurray

There we were with a couple weeks’ worth of conference calls with the client’s technology crew under our belts. We had been ironing out the fine points involved in inserting QR (quick response) codes in our latest corporate history book. These included some pretty cool links to extended video clips and audio interviews we conducted with company and industry movers and shakers, the kinds of sources that form the basis of our heritage management approach to producing books, videos, exhibits, websites and social media initiatives. Employees will be able to take their smartphones or iPads and scan the QR codes to have the linked material pop up on their mobile screens. It would be hard to find a handier way to reinforce your heritage messaging with newbies and frontline leaders alike.

Leave it to the nerd swarm at Google to zig just when the rest of us want to zag. I opened up the July 24, 2011, Sunday New York Times business section to find an article and photos about Think Quarterly, Google’s business-to-business publication. While the rest of us can find this very informative publication online (or if you prefer, via the QR code below), the Times pointed out that Google had printed a limited edition hardcover version of the book for select clients. As the article noted, “The fast information company is inviting its clients to a data slow dance.”

Ouch. Is Google going retro on us in the book department just as we embrace all things online? I don’t think so. Let’s note the obvious. The book looks gorgeous. What better way for Google, the doyen of data, to stand out from the social media crowd?

Messaging works across media. Sometimes one medium is the solution, sometimes many. Decrying the state of Twitter Nation is fine and good, as long as you don’t ignore the immediacy and impact it affords. As for books, it’s nice to have Google demonstrating their high-value place in the media mix. ~

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