Social Media Top 5: What Scott Monty Will Hear at Ford

Those of us in Boston’s Social Media crowd were happy to hear of Scott Monty’s new gig at Ford Motor Company, though we are saddened to hear that means leaving Boston to live near Detroit.

As social media high mucky muck at Ford, Scott will undoubtedly have some great opportunities to not only do great things for Ford, but also show that a large enterprise can succeed using social media. No pressure, Scott.

That said, I polled myself and came up with the top 5 things Scott may actually hear in his first day at the estimable automobile giant:

  1. “Welcome to Ford! Here’s your office, your secretary, keys to the washroom, private bar…. and the keys to your first company car. Behold, the 2009 Pinto!
  2. “You can have any social media you want, so long as it’s a blog.”
  3. “Whatever you do, don’t bring up the Edsel (or the Mustang II, for that matter)!”
  4. “GPM, MPG, no one will notice the difference if you switch the letters around. Now get that Green Expedition social network up and running.”
  5. “We’re not really sure about your idea of a Henry Ford character blog, but we have some writing style samples for you to mimic.”

Good luck, Scott– and watch your back driving that Pinto!

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Social Media Top 5: The Bald Truth: How to be a Social Media Rock Star

For those of us who spend a lot of time in social media, and especially those of us in the marketing and public relations professions, it has become achingly clear that bald is beautiful and that fewer follicles open the door to marketing blogger super-stardom.

So, what about those of us, like me, who have beautiful heads of hair and are in no danger of joining the ranks of the Bald Gods anytime soon? The answer is obvious: get your picture taken with a bald marketing blogger. Having a photo with any of the shiny-pate set lends you instant social media credibility. To that end, I have been gradually seeking out photo opps with the balderati. Here are some tips:

Greg & Doug

    1. Be persistent. It took me a while to track down Greg Verdino, but I finally managed get him this week during the MarketingProfs conference. Bonus points for getting a picture of him where he’s not sticking his tongue out.

    (photo by Greg Verdino)

Sarah Wurrey, Doug Haslam, Mitch Joel

    2. Be willing to share the moment. Sarah Wurrey and I made good use of Mitch Joel‘s time at PodCamp Boston last fall by sharing the frame. Also, it’s a good idea to buy a round of drinks for Mitch’s entourage.
    (photo by John Wall)

BlogPotomac - Geoff Livingston

    3. Don’t miss the moment. I had an audience at a Social Media Breakfast last winter with Geoff Livingston, but was too busy giving a sycophantic review of his book (which i plan to read someday) to snap a photo. An undocumented encounter is a lonely encounter.
    (photo by Josh Hallett)

beauty and the geeks

    4. Aim high. Goldie who? One photo with Seth Godin can boost your career more than a season’s worth of botox injections. This is truly the Holy Grail of marketing blogger photo opps.
    (photo by “esthr“)

Octavio Rojas y Steve Rubel en las oficinas de Edelman en NY

    5. Make sure the marketing or PR blogger is truly bald. Steve Rubel gets disqualified for refusing to shave off his “Conrad Janis/Gargamel fringe.”
    (photo by Octavio Rojas)

Technosailor, Brogan, Jeff

….or they haven’t quite de-follicled to the point of “bald marketing guru” status. Don’t frown, Mr. Monty, someday you will join the ranks of the truly shiny.

BlogPotomac - Scott Monty
(photo by Josh Hallett)

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Social Media Top 5: We Don’t Need no Stinkin’ PR

I haven’t typically turned the Social Media Top 5 spotlight directly on my own honorable profession, public relations, but the recent run of low comedy in the social media world on the subject of PR leaves me no choice.

  1. Twitter “(does) not employ public relations professionals.” No kidding. I thought non-response to serious charges of harassment by some Twitter users against others was the result of a carefully-crafted PR program. I would also have recommended blaming your biggest cheerleader/ambassadors for your infrastructure problems. great move. Of course the people who invented blogger would have had no idea that their new shiny toy, Twitter, would engender heavy usage by the biggest “shiny toy” geeks on the Internet.

    I suspect the Twitter folks have been fielding calls from a few PR firms lately, the way a sailor dragging his bloody hand in the water may have attracted a few sharks.

  2. French/Silicon Valley entrepreneur Loic Lemeur, the man behind Seesmic (btw, I cheerfully took part in the alpha program), claims that entrepreneurs don’t need to hire PR professionals. He claims, correctly, that the best representative of a startup is the entrepreneur. However, I think he underestimates the value of outside counsel to tell an entrepreneur when, for example, pursuing some media coverage might be a stupid idea. Run your company, but hire experts (or an expert) to save you from yourself.

  3. Speaking of people in need of saving, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey is back blogging, months after the debacle in which it was discovered he was posting anonymously on Yahoo! stock forums. Remarkably, he defended his anonymity, and the nature of his posts.

    “More than 95 percent of my posts were made in response to other participants’ posts. I rarely originated posts myself. I made more than 1,400 posts on the Whole Foods Market and (competitor) Wild Oats online community message boards on Yahoo! over an eight-year period…In the total context of my participation in these two communities, my comments regarding Wild Oats occurred much, much less frequently than my comments about Whole Foods Market.

    As Christopher Walken might say, “Wowee wowee wow wow!” Even Fonzie had an easier time admitting he was wr-wr-wrong and moving on. My favorite part was his characterization of the CEO of a public company cheerleading anonymously on finance forums as a “mistake in judgment, not ethics.” Just. Wow. I’m all for second chances, but Strike Two.

  4. Because this is my blog and I make the rules, I’m stopping the Social Media Top Five at #4. I’m also going to praise a former client for his PR instincts. Jeremy Brosowsky of Brijit recently ran out of money to keep his startup going. Did people snicker or drag the corpse around the town square? No- they praised him and the site. They even gave him an award. Why? For one thing, the site is a great idea and people loved it. Also, Jeremy has great PR instincts. He is first to jump personally into any blog discussion (using his own name, Mr. Mackey) about Briit, and he also recognized the value of outside counsel, even though he eventually had to let us go for financial reasons. Not that Jeremy needed any saving from himself, but we would have been there.

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Social Media Top 5: Spam, Bacn, Tofu, What Next?

Time for another Social Media Top 5. This week, I ponder taking a great social media/Internet meme and beating it into the ground like the Golden Spike.

It’s time to continue the expansion of the idea of “Spam.” We know Spam is unwanted, unsolicited email. since, then, Bacn has been defined as email that we want, but is kind of an annoyance. In the wake of the recent “PR Spam” controversy (yawn), Brian Solis invented “Tofu.” He defined it thus:

Tofu (new category – suggested name) is email that is sent individually to people who are pre-qualified or identified as being related to, or interested in, a particular category or topic. Or, they have made their email publicly available on their site, thus intentionally or inadvertently inviting contact. I’m not sure what to call it, but the idea for tofu was inspired by the fact that we can almost make it taste like something else, but at the end of the day, it’s still not the real thing.

Thanks for the concise definition, Brian. The era of PR pitching via short message media like Twitter is off to a roaring start! :)

For my Social Media top 5, a few more suggestions to stretch this idea beyond its limit:

  1. Chickn: Actually, most emails, even spam, taste like chicken. some of them are a little stringy though
  2. Vegetbles: These are the emails that we hate to read, even though we know they are good for us. Perhaps it’s the weekly email memo from the CEO
  3. Potatos:These are very filling, full of substance. Also, the best ones ideally originate in the Underground.
  4. Dessrt: These emails are fun, but it’s unhealthy to read too many of them. Perhaps those jokes your friends won’t stop sending to you
  5. Alcohl: Tasty emails, always bad for you. Like dessert, but more addictive and sometimes evil. Definitely NSFW. Best consumed on nights and weekends

Any more suggestions?

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Social Media Top 5: Twisney’s onto something: where next?

As if any blogger or social media addict needed ego-inflation, the kind folks at Utterz called me an “immortal” among mobile podcasters. Apparently I’m a mobile podcaster. Ok, I’ll buy that. Immortal? well, that would be cool:

In a social media world wheree even the unassailable Steve Rubel has to admit he was “Wr-wr-wr-wr-wrong” (as Fonzie might say)*. I know that immortality could easily become a burdensome responsibility. I am ready.

OK, on to the social Media Top 5.

Well, as I discovered on vacation, someone went and did it– I tried to get away for a week and someone (a Mr. Scott Mitchell I believe) went and made it so Walt Disney world is no longer a Twitter-Free zone.

At the risk of stretching last week’s “disconnecting” theme past it’s limit, here are the next five previously peaceful places that will soon be violated by Twitter API.

  1. Mt. Everest – Climber615: Leaving Base Camp: Will Tweet from summit. 15 days ago from Mobile
  2. Mall of America** – I’ve never been there– do they have a Monorail? I bet those Tweets would be indistinguishable from Twisney Tweets.

    (update- holy smokes I just looked at the Mall of America site– they have an amusement park and everything! might as well be Disney)

    Bjorn: Uff da! Sven got sick on the flight simulator dere. Off to Nordstrom’s 10 minutes ago from Mobile

  3. Church***:
  4. Parishioner3-16: Pastor reading from Jeremiah this Sunday, and Mrs Barnes won;t take her scremaing baby out of the sanctuary- again. I see a connection. 3 minutes ago from Mobile

  5. Airlines finally let cell phones on planes. If you think Twitter is full of Combine Twitter addictiveness with 6 hours of nothing to do, and we’ll start breaking Twitter all over again:
    • DougH: Plane now over Detroit 37 minutes ago from Mobile
    • DougH: Plane now over Flint 40 minutes ago from Mobile
    • DougH: Plane now over Saginaw 43 minutes ago from Mobile
    • DougH: Plane now over Lansing 46 minutes ago from Mobile
    • DougH: Plane now over Battle Creek 49 minutes ago from Mobile

That’s not five, but I’m jet lagged still. Feel free to fill in the blanks for me :).

* The same Fonzie responsible for the term “Jump the Shark.” Just sayin’.

** Hat tip to Paul Swansen

*** Hat tip to “Icejunkies

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Social Media Top 5: The Present and Future of Disconnecting

I just returned from a vacation in which I was somewhat successful staying offline—or, at least kept myself from being immersed in my personal Web 2.0 multimedia world at my usual ridiculous level.


Returning home, I got to thinking; how might different types of New Media makers disconnect on vacation, assuming they were capable of it? For my back-from-vacation edition of the Social Media Top 5, I took a stab at some guesses, as well as some possible future solutions (some of them admittedly extreme).

  1. The Blogger:
    • Current Method: Letting the blog lie idle while you vacation, perhaps letting a guest blogger fill in if your blog actually has regular readers
    • The Future: “Idea Free” zones, where blog post-type thinking is discouraged, perhaps even punished. Want to relate Disney customer service to Web 2.0 marketing methods? Stop it!
    • Choosing which rides to go on remind you of life-altering career changes? Cut it out!
  2. The Flickr Fiend:
    • Current Method: Self-discipline; waiting until you return home from vacation to post pictures online
    • The Future: “Image free” vacation spots where there is absolutely nothing interesting to photograph, and your family is forced to wear drab clothes
  3. The Twitterer:
    • Current Method: Actually doing things, which tends to keep most of us too busy to tell other people about it—for the most part, anyway
    • The Future: EMP resorts, in which focused electro-magnetic pulses are periodically unleashed to knock any Twitter-capable devices offline
  4. The Video Seesmic/Qik/Ustream “Artist”
    • Current Method: You know something, I can’t figure out anything that has kept people, especially Qik video streaming users, from live-streaming at the drop of a hat
    • The Future: Hiring extremely ugly people to follow you around and remain within Webcam view at all times to discourage audiences, the fuel for any video artist
  5. The Lifestreamer:
    • Current Method: Disengages from social media by not doing anything; i.e., not having anything to stream. In all but the most extreme cases, breathing is allowed
    • The Future: “Hypersleep” hibernation as vacation—with complete sensory deprivation and REM sleep (which may be deemed life-streamable) optional

Ok, so I wrote this blog post on the plane home. That doesn’t count towards “disconnecting,” does it?

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