Argenti Warns Social Media Revolutionises Corporate Communications

this is the unabridged version of an article published and written originally for Bnet.co.uk of which I am a regular contributor

The following video is a December 2009 interview of Paul Argenti (Corporate Communications Professor at Tuck University) following the release of his book dedicated to how  “Web 2.0” (even though the term is a bit outdated). The book describes how Social Media transforms corporate communications. Here are – in a few words – what should be remembered from that interview. As it happens, a lot of what Argenti describes here is similar to what I have written in these columns and elsewhere:

  1. most execs are out of sync: and it’s easy to dismiss what you don’t know as being a fad or meaningless,
  2. yet a true revolution in corporate communications is unfolding with regard to how our corporate relationships are impacted in all areas: press and public relations, investors, analysts, partners and clients, employees and job seekers etc. What is funny, Argenti says, is that despite point 1, none of the interviewed execs denies this fact,
  3. this revolution has less to do with tools than strategy,
  4. Video and Vlogging (video blogging) are transforming everything we do in corporate communications,
  5. Web 2.0 enable proactive vs. reactive communications;
  6. negative feedback is definitely what execs are afraid of, but it is already broadly available beyond social media. Social Media is not the cause of negative feedback or brand disloyalty and cannot be held responsible for the quality of a product or the fact that a service hasn’t been rendered properly.

to point 6 I would also add that often public relations representatives:

  • have no clue about how to and how not to behave with regard to social media,
  • misjudge the importance of a sentence or a comment whereas – even more than in the printed press – every word counts in Social Media,
  • fail to understand the human factor behind crisis management in Social Media and think that fiddling with comments is enough, whereas human conversations work wonders,
  • minimise the importance of engaging in Social Media as opposed to being present in social media,
  • talk digital vs. do digital, and don’t understand what the web makes available to all,
  • fail to count on positive feedback including that which can be generated by internal blogging communities and partnerships,
  • fail to implement the right processes and spell them out clearly, including disclosure practices.
Many of these issues will be debated at the likeminds conference which is due to take place in Exeter on February 26th at which I will be a keynote speaker dealing with Social Media in B2B.

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Yann Gourvennec

CEO & Founder at Visionary Marketing
Yann has a long-standing experience in marketing, information systems and Web marketing. He created visionarymarketing.com in 1996 and since then, he has practiced Web strategy, e-business and Web communications in the field. He was a member of socialmedia.org from 2008 till 2013. He is a lecturer, a keynote speaker, an author and blogger. In early 2014, he went from intrapreneur to entrepreneur when he founded his digital marketing agency Visionary Marketing.
Yann Gourvennec
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