Thursday, April 23, 2009

We are not in control of this

I tweeted the title of this post from the Mediacontact seminar on PR, Social Media and Blogging in Practice seminar on Tuesday last. It was a random quote from Will McInnes of Nixon McInnes, UK social media goldienuts, but the simple efficiency of his presentation meant that it was actually absorbed by the offline types who predominated.

In fairness to them, they were there to learn, and I think that most people did. In fact, I got the sense that they pretty much bolted back in the Audi TTs and Mini Coopers to the workplace at Goldsheen Lustre Communications HQ to start theys own blogs toot sweet.

That was another succinct piece of advice, from Jane McDaid and Matt Matheson of Thinkhouse: just start blogging. Do it. Learn by making a total balls of it. You can do it privately, and then start doing it publicly when the stabilisers come off the back wheel. Dan Halliwell of TNS MediaMarket brought along some hopelessly out of date figures on bloggers, Facebook, Twitter and all sorts of things that he should've been better informed on. Tony Bilsborough of Cadbury Schweppes was there to fill everyone in on the soc media-inspired relaunch of Wispa. And had one for everyone in the audience. They were in date. Sweet.

Then it was the turn of the four blogmen of the apocalypse. Well, Damien Mulley was allowed a podium to himself to talk about protecting your reputation online. A first round alarm bell for most companies who aren't actively engaging online, so a natural topic for discussion. The other three bloggers (Harry McGee of the Irish Times, Mick Fealty of Slugger O'Toole, Kieran Murphy of Murphy's Ice Cream) had to make do with a panel discussion. I think that their collective gravitas, depth of knowledge on their subjects (press, politics and marketing) and their clear belief in their medium were enough to make some sceptics sit up.

I posted earlier about the lack of ad agency presence. The nature of thinking in media spaces today necessitates a joined-up philosophy, but we're fucked if we're seeing it from most agencies. They just didn't bother to turn up. Yes these things cost money, and yes you can run the risk of biting into a crap one, but not having some half-assed sort of presence at the very least is suicide.

Boots were there.

So were Bord Gais Energy.
Red Bull.
Paddy Power.
The National Lottery.
Irish Distillers.
The Blood Transfusion Services Board.
Tourism Ireland.

There was ONE fucking ad agency there. ONE! Even the European Commission was at the blessed thing. And while this conference would've probably taught very little to a small handful of the agencies around town (listed somewhere over there on the right) the rest could've picked up a heap of good advice on what to do next. God, I'm beginning to bore myself at this stage.

Anyway, I found this at the Nixon McInnes site mentioned above. A Marketer's Guide To Social Media. Free. Course if it's free it must be trash, right. Yeah. Better not look at that then.

Also, the IIA's Net Visionary Awards are happening in a month's time. If you still think the ICADs are the mutt's nuts it really is worth taking a look at these shortlist nominees. Vote while you're at it.

Speaking of the IIA, next post up is a quick overview of their Business Blogger Burlington Breakfast (I know, I know) just this week. Again, the clients were there, but I'll bore you about that in the next post. ttfnmfrs


  1. Hey Nick - I said I'd be picking your brains on this but I think you've covered off every question I had. I really wish I'd been there. I agree with Jane and Matt completely, and the importance of blogging is overlooked but almost everyone in the Irish business community. I'll have to catch up with you for a proper chat soon.

    Oh and thanks for the link to 'A Marketer's Guide To Social Media' - very good read.

  2. Tried to persuade "superiors" of mine to go to this, or better still, send me, but to no avail! I think agencies are behaving like ostriches about the rise of blogging & it's importance and just see it as a fad... aaaaagh!

    Even though I'm a relative newbie to it, having only recently strapped on a pair & started my own, I shall continue to bang my head against the proverbial brick wall at work until I either break it down or pass out from frustration/concussion!

    I agree with Christian too re. "A Marketer's Guide to Social Media" :)

  3. Thanks, Nick, for making such compelling points. Shame is, that if the ad people (and so many others) think it's all a waste of time, they're not reading this! Ah, well. - A Blogman of the Apocolypse

  4. Christian - that chat long overdue. Full presentation docs of the above available soon, I'm told.

    Dena - that was a shame. Next decent one comes along use a holiday if you've any left. It IS worth building the network around these things. Essential, some might say.

    Kieran - it was great to get the take of those who are actually making use of soc media's viability. Such an exciting space compared to the offline alternatives. I love the engagement of it. Very best of good luck with it. I hope you run out of cones :)

  5. Why are the clients there but the agencies are not???

    Everytime I feel like us amateurs are about to be overtaken by savvy Larry Tates, you tell me something like this, and I breathe again.

    But then if social media was recognised, then maybe SOMEONE could just employ me to monitor and contribute to it, rather than having to come up with more concrete schemes to keep me.

    I mean, it would just be lovely to be valued for copying what you do, whoops, I mean doing what I do.