Friday, January 9

Defining Communication: Real-Time Over Social

If anyone needs more evidence that 2009 will be the Year of Communication, consider the upcoming 'Real-Time Communications Conference' will lead with a keynote presentation about embracing social media and online community building by Pfizer Vice President Ray Kerins.


Following Kerins will be a panel discussion moderated by Sarah Milstein, author, Twitter and the Micro-Messaging Revolution. The panel will include: Paul Gennaro, senior vice president & chief communications officer, AECOM Technology Corp and David Sacks, founder and CEO, Yammer, Dave Armon, president, PR Newswire, and Morgan Johnston, Corporate Communications manager, JetBlue. There are also two roundtable sessions.

The conference will be held on Jan. 14 at the Graduate Center of The City University of New York, but portions of it will be broadcast live via a PR Newswire/MultiVu Webcast. So what's on the agenda for business besides positioning "social media" as a subset of real-time communications?

• Case studies of leading organizations that embrace real-time communications.
• Real-time communications to build communities with customers and prospects.
• Analysis of leading organizations on how they can manage and defend brand reputation.
• Maintaining core values and principles while maximizing flexibility for unforeseen events.
• Integrating crisis communication when challenged by real-time events online.
• An overview of the tools and technologies that today's communicators need to know.

Lewis Green, L and G Business Solutions; Francois Gossieaux, Emergence Marketing; and Valeria Maltoni, Conversation Agent (to some extent); have all expressed concerns that the social media expert crowd might be disconnecting themselves from business.

We also mentioned the trend several times last year, first following up on some comments made by Ted McConnell, general manager-interactive marketing and innovation at Procter & Gamble Co., and again in response to the overemphasis of conversations even knowing that neither might be popular. Right. For all the fun of following what is hot and what is not, businesses are moving right along without those who profess to know.

Does that mean businesses will make mistakes? You bet they will. But even if the tone of the new Wells Fargo-Wachovia blog (hat tip: Shel Holtz) seems a bit off, the social media crowd might have to accept that most customers don't care what comes first or last as long as companies move in the right direction.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great post Rich.

The debate around business vs. social media consultants continues. And what annoys me is there shouldn't be a "vs."

Jeff

Rich on 1/11/09, 8:17 AM said...

Thanks Jeff,

That's a good thought. Although Mack Collier recently saw it differently, I'm less interested in the debate and more interested in finding places to build bridges.

Someone can look at this post as negative assault on social media consultants or someone can look at it as six speaking points that some social media consultants might want to consider if they care about what business is thinking about. I tend to lean toward the latter.

All my best,
Rich

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