A chap called Kraig Kleemen got my attention today, whilst peddling his “Must-React System” for sales, he put this post into a Content Management forum on LinkedIn.  In it he refers to a story about how he attracted the attention of Bono, with a targeted message during a chance meeting – which resulted him endorsing his product and writing a forward to his book. 

“While sitting and relaxing I heard a voice not far from me shout, “Hey Bono!” As is natural, I looked in the direction from where I heard my name. I locked eyes with an American man who then stated, “I appreciate so much how you defend the poor of the earth!” Oh my! This American had my undivided attention. The poor of the earth has become a very important, if not vital phrase in my global humanitarian efforts. No one has ever approached me using that phrase. My interest in this American had now piqued, simply because he used the very language that embodies my passion. The American went on to say, “I was formerly on the Board of Directors of an outreach to abandoned children in South America. I appreciate your efforts at getting the modern world to understand the pain and challenges that exist in the rest of the world. Cheers to you, Bono!” Wow. No one had ever approached me like that before. I am accustomed to people approaching me about my music, certain lyrics in a song, and things of this sort. But this man had my attention immediately because he approached me about what is core. What I value. What keeps me up at night. What is central to my goals and purposes in life. I was hooked! I asked my assistant to invite him over to my area of the lounge. Kraig and I visited for nearly an hour, and we have maintained a friendship since. Little did I know that Kraig has developed a powerful selling system entitled The Must-React System, and that he had utilized the principles of The System to lure me into a dialog. I take my hat off to Kraig Kleeman! In a funny sort of way, I guess I am a target who succumbed to The Must-React SystemSM.”

It was posted to “CM Pros” and the first comment from a fellow CM Professional got straight to the point:

Not really seeing the link to content management, here…

But, I got thinking about it, then the next comments popped up the next day:

“this is more of a marketing spiel”

“We call it a Troll.” – from someone working for a bank!

I can sort of see their point but, it seems a bit harsh – if the story is true, then Bono doesn’t feel duped – he seems pleased that someone who provided him with something he values was able to attract his attention.

It’s not clear whether the reference to the cause ‘duped’ him into a friendship or if Kleeman actually was able to benefit one of his causes. But it is clear that Bono values that ‘transaction’.

The story for Content Management practitioners and those of us who care about Persuasive Content Management is that organisations create and manage content for a reason – to be persuasive, engaging, to educate etc.

That is exactly what Kleeman did – through knowledge of his audience – he communicated with Bono, with some compelling content when it seems plenty of other people had failed.

But, the comments demonstrate what a fine line personalisation/persuasive content treads – by placing the story out of context into a CM forum, he aliented this audience, who now feel negative about Kleemen and his company (Blair Group).