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Chapter 12: Week 2: Plan Your Affiliate ... > Tuesday: Decide on Frequency of News... - Pg. 247

of thinking rather than changing anything in the organization itself) or symmetric (where the organization is willing to learn from the public and change for the pub- lic). In his Effective Public Relations and Media Strategy volume published by PHI Learning in 2009, C.V. Narasimha Reddi pointed out that the difference between the way of handling public relations in the 20th century vs. the 21st century is that the last century practiced primarily "the one-way asymmetric" model, while "the 21st century will witness a two-way symmetric public relations model with a balanced flow of infor- mation from organisation to the target public and from the public to the organisation." In the course of this information flow, both parties "will have an equal say and impor- tance to both feed-forward and feedback information." I've been noticing how this shift is facilitated by the social media, but even before Facebook and Twitter, affiliate program managers understood the importance of two-way symmetric communication while managing their affiliate programs. Unless your program management rests on a two-way symmetric communication model, it will never reach the heights that it could have reached had it been undergirded by such a model. 247 T U E S DAY: D E C I D E O N F R E Q U E N C Y O F N E W S L E T T E R S A N D A P P ROAC H Types of Communication When looking at the methods of communicating with the affiliates, I find it helpful to divide my communication-related considerations into three groups: Open Communication Channel Provide for a channel of communication that affiliates can always turn to, and be confident that they will find you there. I am taking about phone, email, instant messengers, your blog, affiliate marketing forums, and any inter- nal system of communication that your affiliate network may be providing. Regular (Expected) Communication Here I am talking about your affiliate newsletters, sea- sonal greeting cards/gifts in the mail, and other types of keeping in touch with your affiliates on a regular/recurring basis. Publications Yes, publishing articles in magazines and on various online platforms will both help you recruit new affiliates and help your current partners achieve newer heights. Therefore, there is no reason to ignore these. In what follows, we will dig deeper into the specifics of communicating with affiliates, but throughout the rest of the chapter I encourage you to keep all of what you've studied today in mind, especially the importance of keeping an open two-way channel of communication. Tuesday: Decide on Frequency of Newsletters and Approach Now that you know which methods of communication affiliates prefer most and understand that email constitutes the most popular means of communication, the only logical continuation is to look at the frequency with which affiliates would like to hear from affiliate program managers.