Vying For Position In The Social Media Game

Pete Blackshaw, exec VP of Nielsen, asks in his latest Ad Age column, “Who owns social, anyway?”

Agencies and supplier networks are all storming the “social media” center: PR firms see social as an extension of their birthright in influencer marketing; ad agencies see it as a new frontier of high-impact ad impressions (for example, earned media); the growing crop of word-of-mouth agencies and buzz-monitoring firms see this as birthright. It’s almost as though we have the “internal” version of Bob Garfield’s “Chaos Scenario.”

While suppliers duke it out, Blackshaw recommends that client companies “manage the flow.”

We all need to become better internal curators and “community managers.” Not unlike a devoted greenie, we need to work really hard to manage our social “ecosystem.” This is probably less about command-and-control than in establishing thoughtful guide rails, tempered by experience, good judgment, and even the lessons of a few legal hard knocks.

BTW, next Tuesday I’ll be getting up early to discuss these topics, and others like them, with fellow panelists at Social Media Club of Portland’s Quarterly Breakfast at Portland State. Come on over and heckle us.
In related news, McDonald’s named it’s first director of social media and he comes from a PR background. Rick Wion’s marching orders are three-fold: use social media to build the business, manage customer problems, and beef up outreach to target groups such as mommy bloggers.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.