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Who owns social media (in a corporate context)?

Posted: April 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm 5 Comments »

The big debate at yesterday’s Social Media in a Corporate Context conference focused on ownership of social media. Not that Communicate set the conference up this way; it’s just that the passions this session aroused made it the day’s standout.

PR, marketing and SEO were among the options the panel was arguing over. (Question – how many organisations have an SEO unit that sits outside marketing?) Unsurprisingly, the PRs filling the Harris Suite at Stamford Bridge voted for PR ownership.

But social media blurs the traditional delineations between these business functions, which was among the points raised in the presentation from our European CEO, Peter Granat. As often, meerkats provide a good example, as a campaign that integrates splashy mainstream advertising with a brilliantly executed social strategy.

Even for VCCP‘s award-winner there are questions around the campaign’s approach to search.  Go beyond campaigns to look at all the other ways in which social media can impact your business – sales and client services, product development, recruitment, etc – and it becomes clear that this is bigger, considerably bigger, than any one department.

Like reputation itself, social media should perhaps be owned by the organisation as a whole – putting the CEO in overall charge. Sure, outreach should be managed alongside other outreach. The messaging that goes out needs to be aligned, and the messaging that comes back in needs to be addressed.

But when any part of the business can suddenly take the spotlight, every part of the business bears some responsibility. And for that to become reality, the edicts can only come from the top.

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  1. By uberVU - social comments on April 29, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by CisionUK: Who owns social media in a corporate context? http://bit.ly/bscYrP #smcc10…

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sally Walker, Cision UK, Cision UK, The Funky Agency, Claire Burdett and others. Claire Burdett said: RT @CisionUK: Who owns social media in a corporate context? http://bit.ly/bscYrP #smcc10 [...]

  3. By Do blogs matter? | CisionUK on May 12, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    [...] talking heads were filmed during the Social Media in a Corporate Context conference a couple of weeks back, when our European CEO, Peter Granat (that’s him in the thumbnail), [...]

  4. By Why corporate blogs still matter | Cision Blog on May 13, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    [...] folks were filmed during the Social Media in a Corporate Context conference a couple of weeks back, when our European CEO, Peter Granat (that’s him in the [...]

  5. [...] marketers in this field mirrored those of social media PRs. Further evidence, it seems, for those oft-repeated claims that social media is blurring lines between business functions, particularly those departments engaged in [...]

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