Ben does not have a background in technology. The rise of blogging started to effect his view on print journalism about 18 months ago and is now in charge of new media communications at IBM, which has abut 340,000 employees. Here’s some important points-

  • Establish social media skills
  • New media communications have lower costs and improved effectiveness than existing communications
  • Innovation in communications to connect with audiences in different ways is on the rise
  • Try to broaden the conversation- get new users to adopt web technology
  • “The rise of social media heralds the advent of a new communications paradigm” – a new way of communicating
  • Focus on how to USE the technology (not WHAT the technology is)
  • The economics drive everything else- blogging, podcasting can be done for practically nothing
  • The New Communications Paradigm consists of the difference between mass media and social media in the following areas: publisher, economics, audience, engagement, voice, communications, and marketing
  • “People relate to individual voices better than they relate to institutional voices”
  • Brands have started to represent symbols of our social aspirations- such as BP’s new branding campaign (beyond petroleum)
  • It’s all about having to let go of control
  • GAP, SOny, Kodak, and Ford have all lost much of their brand value since the year 2000
  • People can create and share brands themselves- with social media, there are self-publishing tools to let all audiences find a relevant communitiy of interest & publish the brand to each other
  • We can listen better- employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, and partners all have something to say. Listen to them (give them tools to do so)!!
  • We can create and share the brand with them- corporations can’t control the brand. But they can influence! By inviting people to share the brand with us, we can hope for maximum influence (this is something I REALLY agree with).
  • Everything is available for everyone to see – the concept of the “Naked” Corporation

An Agenda for change (how create a strong brand in the age of social media)-

  • Don’t segment your audience
  • Provide employees the means to tell their own stories about the brand in their own words
  • Listen
  • Where there is potential for positive outcome, engage to INFLUENCE