Social Media Top 5: Undead Embargoes, & Death by iPhone

Embargoes Are Dead (Again)- So Says TechCrunch

Michael Arrington has some points in that some big companies (like Google) have finally succumbed to no-embargo news, but to declare embargoes dead on TechCrunch is to declare them dead– well, on TechCrunch. They will live on in other places, PR folks.

Oh- and if you have to periodically keep declaring embargoes dead, maybe they’re really zombies. Hire Woody Harrelson to finish the job.

Pimping My Friends Dept: Launches

A heartfelt congratulations to Laura Fitton for launching, fittingly positioned as the app store for Twitter. It’s great to see friends do well, and I have been rooting for Laura forever (ok, about two years or so). Please consider my extreme bias when I tell you that is the best Web site. Ever. (end of review)

(EDIT: Of course, Laura has a whole team behind her now that deserves a ton of credit- bad of me not to mention that in first draft))

B.L. Ochman: Six Reasons Companies Are Still Afraid of Social Media

B.L. frequently comes out with great numbered lists (like “10 Reasons to Blog/Not to Blog”, etc.), and this is no exception. You must read the post to get all the reasoning, but here are the six reasons, with my comments:

  1. Employees will waste time with social media. Or, they’ll network and communicate, adding value. You’re a smart manager, you can separate the wheat from the chaff.
  2. Haters will damage our brand. Yes, they do it everywhere. The ones at social media are easier to find, confront and convert (where appropriate and possible).
  3. We’ll lose control of the brand. I differ from B.L.’s statement that message control is an illusion, but– you really lose control if you don’t participate.
  4. Social media requires a real budget! It’s not really cheap, or free. It’s pretty cheap to experiment. And anyway, why should you have a “social media” budget? Bake it into your departments, and costs are shared among marketing, sales, IT, etc- whoever touches it– which should be most of the company, like it or not.
  5. They’re scared they’ll be sued. If you’re stupid enough to get sued in social media, you’re stupid enough to get sued anyway. Social media isn’t the problem.
  6. They’re scared of giving away corporate secrets or that information on social networks will affect the stock price. See above about participating. Misinformation spreads more freely without you.

Goldman Worried About PR Ramifications of Bonuses

Why is the “bank’s HR department is scrambling to come up with a solution?” (according to the NY Post). Did they not plan for this? Did it all of a sudden dawn on the bank that that maybe big payouts will be a PR problem? Gah! Surely it’s not that simple.

A New Way to Die: Augmented Reality

I have been hearing lately about iPhone apps that, knowing where you are in a city, overlap the maps with pertinent information about what’s inside buildings, etc (hey, there’s a Starbucks in that mall! How would I ever have found it without my app? But I kid…). Is it too morbid to suggest a pool on the day the first person gets hits by a bus because their nose is buried in thee Augmented iPhone screen? Gosh, I sound like an old fart.


  1. “Social media requires a real budget! It’s not really cheap, or free. It’s pretty cheap to experiment. ”

    The point I’m making is that SM is past the point of cheap experiments. Its efficacy as part of the marketing mix is clear from the many successful campaigns that I and others have done for our clients.

    You missed this important part of my post:
    “The boss’ friend’s high school or college kid can’t integrate social media into the company’s overall marketing. That requires experience and perspective. Having a large social network and a stellar online reputation helps too.

    Just as there are carpenters who can knock together a book shelf and master carpenters who can create objects of genuine and lasting beauty, there are thousands of social media gurus (of all ages) who’ve never worked for an actual client. Hire them at your own peril.

    Geoff Livingston said it beautifully in a recent post:

    “Parroting and/or reporting what you see on the Internet does not equate to actual savoir faire. Nor does it make someone fit to offer insights or counsel.”

  2. B.L.,

    I get your point- by “cheap” I don’t mean run a program on the cheap, but do use inexpensive means if you must to prove your case for a larger program. I agree that companies that are throwing new grads into the social media role “because they’re young” are setting up for failure.

    Anecdotally, I am hearing that companies are reluctant to commit to full programs. This doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do them. It just means they need to find ways to convince management before the budget comes in.

    In that sense, I’m not sure all companies are past the point of cheap experiments. The ones that are still reluctant to dive in- the subjects of your post- may not be.

  3. you’re surely right that not all companies are past that point.

    i have to good fortune to have clients who are at least willing to listen, and who will assign meaningful budgets to adding SM to the marketing mix. the fact is, the social media train has left the station.

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