CMA Conference – Day 2 Rick Murray, Me2Revolution, Edelman

Clive Lobo

Adapting to survive in the conversation economy.

You can pay for the experience or you can earn it. Corporate America is back from the tough times of business scandals.

The average informed person in the US consumes seven sources of media each day.

Media that they are consuming is different today. The BBC was the first to open up with their content. The New York Times finally made their content available for free just this month.

Edelman polled users asking who was the most trusted spokesperson, and the overwhelming response this years was “A Person Like You” – 51%.

We are using the opinions of people we trust to help us validate our perspectives and make decisions. This reinfornces why it’s important to be authentic in the future of conversations. You’re brand can be terribly damaged when you’re not authentic.

Authenticity, honesty and transparency are most important.

Trust in business is coming back, trust in government is not. Its a recognition that government cannot solve our problems.

The Pyramid of Influence is giving way to the Sphere of Infuence Network where users are spreading the word of your brand amongst their friends in their networks.

For business it is really scary to allow their customers to control their brand in a social network. However, it’s happening and business needs to either participate honestly and try to guide or influence vs. doing nothing and letting what happens, happens.

  • PR is Public Relations
  • Hype and Spin are out
  • Google never forgets

The New Role for PR

  • Convergence around big ideas

    Companies that actually have money can make a difference. Government does not have the money to do it. Business has the money to fix global warming. It’s a simple shift in principles. GE is doing it. WalMart consumes 5% of the worlds packaging passes through WalMart. WalMart is forcing suppliers to make their products more efficiently.

    Integrating content across channels

    Thinking about social concerns.

  • Listening to new voices

    Consumer feedbcak – Hal03. When MS launches a major game like Halo3 they are talking to consumers a year in advance. They want their input to help create the next game. Get them engaged early and often. $150 million in sales before any advertising of the game really started – because of the involvement of the fans.
    Edelman wants to hear from the employees about what their honestly think about the products.

    Engaging Local Customers. They are the media you want to reach if you engage them early and often. You’re not telling them what to say, just giving them the information they want.

  • Public Advocacy

    Creating credible sources of information. Outreach to bloggers, creating mini sites about specific topics. Giving those that want to engage with you a venue to do so.

    Evolving role of the CEO. Should the CEO blog? Not necessarily. Only those that are passionate about something should do it.

Changing rules

  • We haev to be open and honest, and not script what people say. It has to be totally authentic.
  • Dialog vs. Messaging
  • Honesty, integrity, authenticity
  • Urgency, Immediacy
  • Depth of content
  • realtime updating
  • Journalistic level of accuracy
  • Demonstrable ROI

PR is the “Engine of Interactivity”.

The future PR Team? They are master integrator, A stategist, channel agnostic, generalist.

  • Data Analysis
  • Brand Planners
  • Media Strategists
  • Community Managers

Final comments – Be It! Don’t Buy It! Do not try and buy the conversation.

Questions and Answers

Q: Where is the media in all of this?

A: Media remains very important as partners. There are citizen journalists which need to be engaged now more than ever in addition to traditional media. Media themselves are changing as well to accomodate these changing times.

Q: GM Fastlane and WalMart Edelman is doing is great. Share some of the insights you had internally, and what steps you took public facing to clear the path.

A: Trained all of the 3000 employees on the new rules. Staff can answer employee questions all day long 24 hours a day with a global hotline. It’s also part of their new employee orientation program. Don’t want them to be afraid to participate, just want them to know how to do it right.

Q: Will people become overwheled by the advertising on social media sites and move?

A: No one has the answer to that question, other than to say that  early adopters are always looking for next big thing to use. Those people will always be switching platforms. However, the rest of us eventually form the core users of the older platforms.

Clive Lobo

Spark’s resident boss man, Clive possesses the very nature of an entrepreneurial spirit.

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